Sections of Fourth and Van Horn Streets in Iowa Park were closed and evacuated Thursday afternoon after workers accidentally hit a natural gas line.
Police, firefighters and at least a dozen Atmos Energy employees responded to the scene as the gas seeped into the air and ground.
A stiff south wind forced first responders to evacuate 12 homes in the 900 block of Van Horn. Authorities also evacuated the O'Riley's Auto Parts along Business 287 and warned people at Ken's Pizza and Itty Bitty Day Care about the leak.
Iowa Park Police Chief Robert Johnson told Newschannel 6 the gas was moving toward an underground sewer line.
Workers brought in back hoes to dig up 2 sections of the 4-inch steel line and close it off. Residents were able to return home around 9:00 Thursday evening. An Iowa Park Police Dispatcher said gas service may be off for some customers until midnight. If anyone wants their pilot light re-lit before morning, they should leave their front porch light on.
Atomos workers were also in the area taking air and ground samples to find out how much gas had escaped into the area.
Many of our Facebook friends commented on our story, telling us workers often hit gas and water lines in Iowa Park. We plan to ask the City Manager about that first thing Friday.