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Local

Gas leak closes down Route 89

Ladd business is evacuated

LADD — A high-pressure natural gas line leak forced Ladd Fire Department to shut down a portion of Route 89 and evacuate one residence and about 30 employees from Tee Group Films factory early Monday morning.

Village of Ladd Superintendent Doug Englehaupt said at about 7:45 a.m. a village employee reported he could smell gas at the wastewater treatment plant. Soon after, it was determined there was a leak in a main line, located in a field, just north of the village.

“I called the 800 number we’re supposed to in these situations, and they informed me it would be up to an hour or hour an a half until someone could be on scene, so I called 911, and the Ladd Fire Chief determined everyone in the area should be evacuated,” he said.

Fire chief B.J. Liebe confirmed his crew was immediately on scene around 8 a.m. and shut down a part of Route 89 just north of the village. Liebe confirmed he evacuated one home and the Tee Group Films factory just as a precautionary measure. He said he was mostly concerned with the size of the main line, therefore he wanted everyone out of the area in case something was to spark.

Around 11 a.m., crews were still on site shutting down the pipeline and “bleeding” the pipe of leftover gas. Employees of Tee Group Films could be seen walking downtown Ladd after the evacuation. Crews were advised to leave their vehicles at the factory. Most employees gathered inside Torri’s Ice Cream Parlor in downtown Ladd while waiting for word to return to work. Liebe expected things would be back to normal around noon. There was no smell of gas in the air.

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