Gas leak threat over; students back to school at Booker T. Washington

Gas leak threat over; students back to school at Booker T. Washington

Updated 9:15 a.m.

CHAMPAIGN – Students who attend Booker T. Washington STEM Academy are back in school after spending about an hour at the Douglass Center because of a gas leak.

Ameren Illinois Spokesman Leigh Morris said a contractor digging on Wright Street hit a 1 1/4-inch gas main at about 8 a.m.

Crews on the scene had the gas turned off by 8:40 a.m., and police and fire officials were also on the scene.

No one was injured, Morris said, but the main will take hours to repair. The school is the only customer without gas, he said, and service is expected to be restored to the school by noon.

Champaign schools spokeswoman Stephanie Stuart said students were evacuated to the Champaign Park District's Douglass Center, on the advice of the Urbana Fire Department. The evacuation lasted about an hour.

Morris emphasized that it's state law to call Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators by dialing 811 before you dig.

If you don't, or if you dig within 18 inches of areas JULIE marks, you're responsible for the cost of repairs and any damages. If you're a contractor, you'll also be fined, Morris said.

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