I-69, Dort Highway reopen after gas leak explosion

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FLINT (WJRT) - (06/06/15) - Consumers Energy reports a contractor working on a construction project struck an underground gas main, eventually leading to an explosion and closing down two roads.

The initial strike happened between 11:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. Saturday on Dort Highway between I-69 and Court Street.

Consumers says a worker had arrived to assess the leak when the explosion happened, about one to one-and-a-half hours after the original leak was reported.

It's not known what ignited the fire. The fire burned for hours.

Consumers crews worked north and south of the impacted area to shut off the gas. That was complete around 4:15 p.m.

I-69 reopened around 5 p.m., while it wasn't until 10 p.m. that Dort Highway reopened.

It took longer to open Dort Highway because crews had to wait for the pavement to cool down before deciding if it was safe for traffic.

Both MDOT and Consumers Energy have more work ahead of them.

"The most important thing today was safety, to make sure we cut off the gas and got the fire put out. Now that things have been taken care of from that perspective, our next goal is to work toward doing the full repairs to that gas line early next week," said Brian Wheeler, senior public information director at Consumers Energy.

"Well, there's some damage, but it can sustain traffic and we need to keep people moving, so we'll be back to make repairs at a different time," said Linda Burchell, Davison TSC Manager for MDOT.

A city of Flint spokesmen says two people were hurt in the explosion. One man was in a car, the other man was on a motorcycle. They were both burned.

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