Updated: Streets cleared, power restored following downtown gas leak

ccope@thestate.comSeptember 25, 2013 

— Streets were clear Thursday morning after a natural gas line break at the corner of Sumter and Richland streets caused traffic tie-ups at rush hour Wednesday afternoon and left about 150 SCE&G customers without service overnight.

Spirit Communications had a subcontractor digging a hole and workers struck a natural gas line, said Columbia Fire Department spokesman Brick Lewis.

A fire sparked off in the area around 6:45 p.m., Lewis said and lasted for over two hours.

The immediate vicinity of the break was evacuated, including Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Ebenezer Lutheran Church and two businesses at the intersection of Sumter and Richland streets.

SCE&G officials said the leak was secured without injuries Wednesday evening, but crews continued working on the problem overnight.

Crews restored gas service to customers on Thursday and are going door-to-door to relight pilot lights Thursday morning, said Eric Boomhower of SCE&G. He expected to have everybody back on by late Thursday afternoon.

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