Ruptured gas line forces evacuations on Main, Cedar Streets

By Matthew Bernat | May 11, 2017
Photo by: Matthew Bernat Firefighters secure Main Street immediately after a natural gas line ruptured on Thursday afternoon.

Natural gas leaking from a ruptured line on Main Street near Besse Park forced the evacuation of residents in the immediate area and Cedar Street Thursday afternoon as first responders secured the site.

According to emergency broadcasts, the rupture occurred at 4 p.m. at 72 Main St., a home with several apartments. The leak was secured at 5:01 p.m.

Broadcasts reported that residents were “sheltering in place” at Tobey Hospital as National Grid crews were en route to the leak.

According to an eyewitness, who declined to be identified, a man using a backhoe struck the line while digging in the building's front yard.

The witness said the man digging yelled to a second person assisting to get back after striking the line. He then reportedly attempted to cover the leak with dirt before driving the backhoe away from the leak.

Wareham and Onset firefighters, National Grid's emergency response team, in addition to Wareham and State Police, responded. Main Street from the entrance of Tobey Hospital to Warr Avenue was closed to traffic as police redirected drivers away from the scene.

In the yard, natural gas could be seen billowing out of the leak as first responders made sure residents were safely evacuated.

As a precaution, firefighters used gas meters to test the air in surrounding neighborhoods. According to broadcasts, stiff winds hampered those efforts.

Natural gas can be seen spilling out of a broken line on Main Street. (Photo by: Matthew Bernat)
Comments (4)
Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | May 11, 2017 17:53

When Handy Manny went to backhoe school they must have taught him to cover gas leaks up with dirt instead of calling DIG SAFE prior to working.


I may not know all the facts about this accident.  But I do know that there is a high probability of gas lines in between the house and the street where Handy Manny was digging.  I also know that the law requires calling DIGSAFE prior to all excavation.  That's the law.  This should not have happened.


Thank God nothing exploded and nobody was hurt.  I hope he is fined accordingly for breaking the law and putting all those residents at risk and inconveniencing them.  He should be banned from the site and required to hire and pay a competent contractor to finish the job.

Posted by: WantToSeeChange | May 11, 2017 21:01

Covering a gas leak with dirt?  What in the world was this guy thinking?  One spark from that metal on metal could have blown him and anyone nearby sky high.

Posted by: sadie | May 12, 2017 08:33

I called dig safe when I was going to plant some shrubs and I wanted to know where the gas line was. They were very nice and came out the same day I called.

While this guy is digging he should find out where the water line is aren't some Comcast lines underground?

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | May 12, 2017 10:32

Dial 811 for DIGSAFE.  They will locate and mark everything underground.  Gas, water, sewer, electrical, telecom, Comcast, everything. That is what they are for.  It's free.  It's a no-brainer.  They come out immediately. No excuses.

If you wish to comment, please login.