Evacuation lifted after natural gas leak shuts down part of uptown Saint John

Evacuation lifted after natural gas leak shuts down part of uptown Saint John
Some Saint John residents evacuated following natural gas leak
After a few tense hours, the evacuation order was lifted for residences and businesses affected by a natural gas leak in uptown Saint John on Friday, according to the city.

Roads near the leak at the intersection of Prince William and Princess streets were also reopened after equipment was cleared from the area.

Emergency officials evacuated and closed off a one-block radius from the leak in the late afternoon. The order was lifted about four hours later.

Several streets and roads around the leak area were completely closed until about 9 p.m. There were also be power outages in the uptown core until repairs have been made.

Power has been restored to the area of the natural gas leak. Zero gas readings in all adjacent buildings. The following streets will remain blocked off: Prince William St from Duke St to King St and Princess St from Canterbury St to Water St.

Workers from Enbridge Gas and repair a gas leak near the corner of Prince William Street and Princess Street in uptown Saint John. (CITY OF SAINT JOHN/TWITTER)

An underground gas line that runs along Prince William Street sprung a leak at the intersection with Princess Street — a busy corner in the heart of the uptown home to many bars, restaurants, shops and apartments. The gas was first detected by a citizen who reported it around 4:30 p.m.

Police said firefighters and gas company workers let people back into the evacuated neighbourhoods after taking gas readings to make sure it was safe.

Enbridge located the leak and excavated the road to make repairs, said Mike Carr, the Saint John Fire division chief. Firefighters, police, paramedics, city works crews and Saint John Energy officials were all on scene.

Firefighters checked out adjacent buildings to ensure no gas is within. The city said two sweeps of the buildings showed readings of zero for natural gas levels, but warned residents that the smell of mercaptan will linger for the evening. The substance, which smells like rotten cabbage, is added to the gas for detection purposes.

Power was shut off completely for a one-block radius of that intersection. Businesses, bars and restaurants in that area are without power.

"Mercaptan is natural substance that poses no risk to public health or safety," the city said.

The Saint John Fire Department, along with police and Enbridge Gas, had to deal with a natural gas leak around supper time on Friday.

The city is urging businesses to check that nothing has been left on and their properties are secured before closing.

It is a priority for CBC to create a website that is accessible to all Canadians including people with visual, hearing, motor and cognitive challenges.

In a statement, the City of Saint John said police, fire and Enbridge Gas are responding to a two-inch underground natural gas leak a Prince William and Princess streets in the citys uptown.

Residents within a one block radius have been evacuated, and roads surrounding the leak have been closed, the city stated.

Power has been shut off within the one block radius. Police said additional power outages should be expected.

Crews are cleaning up equipment at the site & residents will be able to return home SHORTLY. An update will be sent once evacuation has been lifted. At this time, the gas leak has been repaired, two clean sweeps have been completed with zero readings and power has been restored.

Residents are advised that the smell of mercaptan (rotten cabbage smell) will linger for the evening as it was used as an odourant added to the gas for detection. Mercaptan is natural substance that poses no risk to public health or safety.