UPDATE: Pender County Jail evacuated following Burgaw gas leak

Gas leak (Photo: MGN Online)

PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Town of Burgaw reported a gas leak near downtown Thursday.

The town said a utility contractor was working in the area of Wilmington St. near Walker St. and struck a natural gas line.

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The Pender County Sheriff’s Office said Burgaw Fire Department, Pender Emergency Management, the Pender County Sheriff’s Office and Burgaw Police Department responded to the scene. A one block radius around the area was blocked for traffic.

“The line stuck was one of the main lines and is over 15 feet in the ground,” Burgaw Town Manager James Gantt wrote on the town’s Facebook page. “This caused delays in Piedmont Natural Gas getting to and shutting down the lines. Once Piedmont Natural Gas arrived on the scene, they developed a plan and worked quickly and safely to stop the leak. There crews constantly monitored the area and checked numerous buildings for harmful levels of natural gas. The gas line was shut off just before 6:00 PM tonight. Crews will now begin to repair the damaged line. At this time, we do not have an estimated time for the repairs to be completed. Please check our website at BurgawNC.gov or Facebook for any additional information and updates.”

The town is asking for people either to stay inside or avoid the downtown area until further notice.

The Pender County Sheriff’s Office said after consultation with the Burgaw Fire Department, Pender Emergency Management and utility crews the Pender County Jail was evacuated for the safety of the inmates. All inmates were transported to undisclosed jail facilities for housing without any incidents. The Pender County Jail is to reopen after approval from the fire department and utilities.

Any inquires about an inmate in the Pender County Jail can be made by calling 910-259-1212.