SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Hundreds of apartment residents have been allowed to return home, after a gas main break in downtown Springfield sent them onto the streets for more than an hour.
Firefighters evacuated the apartment buildings around 104 Spring Street in downtown Springfield just before 4:00 Monday afternoon.
Dennis Leger, Aide to the Springfield Fire Commissioner, told 22News that a piece of construction equipment had stuck a gas main, causing a leak of natural gas.
Because the gas is leaked and not into any closed space, they were able to shut off the gas, check each apartment, and have people go back inside after 5:00 P.M. Only the elderly residents of St. Luke's Home on Spring Street were still not allowed to return as of 5:15.
During the evacuation, PVTA buses were brought-in to pick elderly residents up and to take them to a shelter.
Nearby residents told 22News about the frightening situation.
"The lady that lives above me was banging on my door, and she told me ‘come outside, there's a gas leak, everybody has to go out.' So we just came out, and we've been standing here since," Spring Street resident Diana Mirayes said.
The area that has was evacuated is just a short distance away from Worthington Street, where a gas explosion the day after Thanksgiving injured several people, and destroyed three buildings.