One of the crew members immediately phoned 911 and a response by the Abilene Fire Department's Hazardous Materials Response Team ensued. The size of the line, coupled with the prevailing weather conditions, prompted responders to evacuate residents from the immediate area until the flow of gas could be curtailed.
These evacuations were conducted, roughly, in an area along Ballinger Street between South 18 and South 20 Streets, and along Fulton Street between Ballinger and Barrow Streets.
Approximately twelve residents were evacuated and thirty-six homes were affected.
Repair crews with Atmos Energy arrived quickly and set about repairing the leak and assisting fire crews with the monitoring of gas concentrations throughout the area. Abilene Police officers assisted with traffic control and evacuations.
Residents evacuated from the area were temporarily relocated to buses provided by CityLink. There were no injuries reported and no ignition of gas occurred.
Repair crews were able to stop the leak by 10:20 and interruption of gas service to the neighborhood was not necessary. Residents were able to return to their homes shortly after this time, but natural gas utility crews remained on scene to complete repairs.
Fire Department personnel remained on scene until 10:45 and it was determined there was no longer a hazard posed.