Workers hit gas line at Dallas Arts District construction site

- Several Downtown Dallas streets are back open after a construction crew hit a gas line on Monday.

The gas leak was the second major disruption in the central business district in several days.

Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said a construction crew hit a 6-inch gas line in a parking lot near Pearl and Flora streets just after 10 a.m. in the Dallas Arts District.

Several neighboring buildings were evacuated as a precaution. Both Olive and Pearl streets were closed at Ross Avenue and the Woodall Rogers exit ramp to Pearl Street was shut down.

Nearby office workers at the Belo Mansion were forced to get out. About six buildings were evacuated as a precaution.

“I am a little nervous because all of these fire trucks and ambulances,” said Susan Clarke, who was evacuated. “It's very disconcerting to block off such a large area.”

As natural gas filled the air, traffic choked off on Ross Avenue between Olive and Pearl Street. Atmos energy technicians stepped in to help.

“Using their monitors, they did pick up a high reading for natural gas in the area,” said Jason Evans with Dallas-Fire Rescue. “And with gas being lighter than air and with it floating up and there being kind of a breeze in the area, we just kind of wanted to make sure we followed all necessary precautions.”

Monday's downtown chaos was on the heels of watery workday Friday afternoon. For some, a ruptured 12-inch cast iron pipeline at Elm and St. Paul streets created a traffic nightmare as basements filled with water.

“I'm an Uber driver and came to pick up a breakfast order for some customers,” said Frances Ramos. “I had to park my car three blocks away and walk it.”

Firefighters say just one person needed medical attention during Monday's gas leak from breathing in fumes. While first responders kept things calm, workers without workspace had to improvise.

As a reminder, the gas company said the law requires customers and contractors to call 811 three business days before digging to make sure there are no lines in the area.

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