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Gas leak leads to evacuation in city

Emergency response

Students were dismissed from the high school late Monday morning after a gas leak. OBSERVER Photos by Jo Ward

Residents in the area of Brigham Road and Veterans Drive began returning to their homes early Monday afternoon after a major gas leak forced an evacuation around 11 a.m.

According to the city Fire Department, a third party contractor hit the gas line while digging. The immediate area was evacuated for precaution and traffic re-routed. Additionally the Dunkirk High School was evacuated with students and staff being sent home.

National Fuel reported it had turned off the leak as of 12:25 p.m., said Karen Merkel, company spokeswoman. She also said 10 homes were affected but expected repairs to be completed by the end of the afternoon.

A statement by Dunkirk school Superintendent Michael Mansfield earlier in the day read: “The district has been alerted to a break in a natural gas line on Brigham Road. While there is currently no physical danger to the district buildings, students and staff at Dunkirk High School are being evacuated due to the presence of fumes. Students living west of Marauder Drive will be evacuated to Dunkirk Middle School. High school students living in other parts of the city will be sent home.”

Dunkirk Police noted Brigham Road between Lucas Ave and West Sixth Street were closed while the repair was being completed.

Crews closed a portion of Brigham Road due to the leak on Monday.

Chautauqua County Fire Police, and East Dunkirk Fire assisted at the scene.

Officials closed Sixth Street and Marauder Drive to work on repairing the leak.

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