Shortly after 1 p.m. today, the Monroe volunteer firefighters were called to the intersection of Settlers Farm Road and Weather Vane Hill for a natural gas leak. A contractor doing work for AT&T struck a gas line, while using a small excavator which caused gas to be released. The gas odor was strong at the intersection and several neighbors reported smelling it near their homes.
Firefighters checked neighboring houses and stretched hose lines as a precaution while police blocked off the road for about 90 minutes. Yankee Gas representatives arrived within 10 minutes of the accident but it took approximately one hour for crews to stop the leak.
Settlers Farm Road was clogged by five Yankee Gas trucks, three fire trucks, and other emergency vehicles until around 3 p.m.
While assisting the Yankee Gas crew, a construction worker employed by the contractor was accidentally struck in the head with a piece of machinery. He was evaluated by Monroe EMS at the scene, but did require hospitalization.
According to Fire Chief Bill Davin, the area was marked to show underground utility lines as required before digging, but it appeared the contractor misjudged or did not see all of the markings.