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updated: 6/17/2014 5:52 PM

Ruptured main triggers gas leak, snarls traffic in Palatine

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  • Palatine police blocked off Northwest Highway near the intersection of Plum Grove Road Tuesday morning as Nicor crews worked to cap a gas leak.

       Palatine police blocked off Northwest Highway near the intersection of Plum Grove Road Tuesday morning as Nicor crews worked to cap a gas leak.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Traffic was rerouted off Northwest Highway while crews targeted a gas leak Tuesday morning near Plum Grove Road. Crews remained on the scene into the afternoon, but the roads were reopened to traffic.

       Traffic was rerouted off Northwest Highway while crews targeted a gas leak Tuesday morning near Plum Grove Road. Crews remained on the scene into the afternoon, but the roads were reopened to traffic.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 

A gas leak on the corner of Northwest Highway and Plum Grove Road in Palatine produced a strong odor and blocked off traffic near the busy intersection Tuesday, authorities said.

Nicor Gas crews worked into the afternoon repairing a 2-inch main ruptured by an unidentified contractor digging in the area, Palatine fire officials said.

Firefighters were called to the intersection about 8 a.m. after a passer-by reported a noticeable smell.

"It was pretty strong," said Battalion Chief Doug Hoyt, adding that windy conditions helped disperse the gas.

Firefighters monitored gas levels in nearby businesses and a residential area north of the intersection, and pulled a hose line as a precaution. The readings were nowhere near those needed to trigger an explosion, Hoyt said.

There were no injuries or evacuations of homes and businesses, but police closed Northwest Highway in both directions from Smith to Benton streets. Authorities also kept cars off Plum Grove Road north of Comfort Street to reduce the risk of ignition, the fire department said in a news release.

The leak left one Nicor Gas customer without service, spokeswoman Kristie Benson said.

Crews brought the leak under control about 11:50 a.m. All lanes were reopened to traffic by Tuesday afternoon.

The fire department urged anyone digging or excavating to first call JULIE (the Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators) at 811.

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