Gas leak lead to evacuations in Jonesboro

Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 5:43 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 8, 2023 at 1:12 PM CST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A gas leak following a crash Monday night forced many people to leave their homes and jobs for safety.

It all started at around 7:30 p.m. Feb. 6 when a car crashed on East Highland Drive near Hytrol, damaging a gas meter.

It took workers hours to stop the gas leak and allow residents to return.

“You never know what an ignition source might be,” said Anthony Coy, director of emergency management for Craighead County.

He stressed a gas leak is not as easy to repair as some might think.

“If you end up with a leak, common sense says just turn it off. That can create much larger problems for the utility provider if someone were to do that,” Coy said.

He said he felt like having everyone evacuate was the right move because, in those situations, you want to err on the side of caution.

“Sometimes, when you have an invisible product like that, you may not know where that danger is and when you find out, it is too late,” Coy said.

One woman who lives next door to the leak heard the crash and was immediately nervous.

“When I first walked outside, there was gas coming out, and you could smell it, and then I went back in the house and called 911 and said we need the police department and fire department to come out,” she explained.

The problem was taken care of, and the road was opened back up in the early morning hours Tuesday.