by Victor Lopez
MIDLAND - It's quite a different scene now than it was a few hours ago. When NewsWest 9 was on the scene around noon, you cold hear the hissing of the gas as it was leaking out of the pipe. We're told that it was approximately 50 pounds of pressure which gave fire crews a reason for concern.
The leak happened in the 400 block of Edgewood when a trench for a water line collapsed causing an edge hoe to fall on a 2 inch steel gas line, causing a rupture.
ATMOS energy had to wait for the edge hoe to be removed before they could come in and repair the leak.
The fact that it was such a large leak meant emergency crews had to think and act fast and ask people to leave their homes.
"That's precautionary. We want to get all residents out of the area just in case there is an ignition source somewhere and we had a flare, then those people would be much safer," David Hickman, Assistant Fire Marshall for the City of Midland, said.
HAZMAT crews were out on the scene all day on Thursday conducting air safety checks just to make sure there was no gas in the air.
ATMOS Energy says they will be going to all the residences affected by the gas shut off to make sure all their pilot lights and gas equipment is safe to operate before they are turned back on.