Seven-hour gas leak shuts down busy intersection in Flint

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FLINT (WJRT) (05/15/2019) - Consumers Energy crews were able to stop the flow of natural gas late Wednesday night at Court Street and Dort Highway after a crew accidentally struck a six inch gas pipeline with a piece of equipment.

Gas blew straight up into the air for hours. Crews were able to identify a location to the east and west of the leak that they closed to stop the flow of gas like squeezing both ends of a straw.

This will allow them to being making repairs.

While readings did not show elevated levels of gas, the sight and sound of gas blowing straight up caught one business owner off guard.

"You never know with something like this," said Christian Jones. "Somebody go out there and light a cigarette and boom."

Jones, a tattoo artist who owns Sacred Ink, said the sound of the gas leak is what first grabbed his attention.

"We heard this loud sshhhhh. Finally I started looking outside going, 'Wow, something's not right.'"

Jones, who was inking a client, made everyone exit building when he realized it was gas.

"Safety is important," he said.

Once Consumers Energy checked to make sure there were not unsafe levels of gas inside the building, Jones was allowed to return to work.

"They allowed us to finish the tattoos, so no one's walking around with a half finished tattoo," Jones said.

Consumers Energy spokesman Brian Wheeler said the leak did not pose a safety risks to residents:

"We're taking readings to make sure there aren't any elevated natural gas levels," Wheeler said by phone Wednesday night. "We're confident right now that natural gas is not getting into houses or businesses in the area."

Despite assurances, Jones said this is a day he will not forget anytime soon:

"A lot of things happen on this corner," Jones said. "One of the busiest corners in Flint."

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