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Mismarked lines may be to blame for gas leak


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- It shut down a main artery through the middle of Wilmington, but who is to blame for the gas leak that shut down S. College Road and kept Cape Fear Academy students locked in school last night?

Investigators say it is clear a construction crew ruptured the eight-inch gas line, but it is not clear if they are to blame.

Workers for Ervin Cable Construction were following a marked path for a trench when their machine hit the line. Investigators say there was some confusion among the workers about the path, because the company that marked where the existing lines were had markings in three separate places and unknowingly instructed a foreman to follow the path that included the gas line.

"I'm sure ultimately it will probably fall on the markings, but my understanding was that there were several different lines down there, and the construction crew had contacted the utility company, and they told them which one to go down, but I don't know how that final workout is going to end up," New Hanover Co. Deputy Fire Marshal Tom Sosebee said.

Sosebee said this was one of the largest gas leaks he had seen in his 12 years with New Hanover County Fire Rescue.

After all the excitement last night, things were back to normal for cape fear academy today.

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