By Anne Allred
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.(KSDK) - Work crews ruptured an Ameren natural gas line in downtown Edwardsville Monday afternoon, forcing the temporary evacuation of a nearby apartment complex.
The gas line rupture occurred in the 500 block of North Main Street. While the gas line is Ameren's, a third party was working on the line at the time of the break.
Gas had built up underneath the street and in the basement of an apartment complex nearby. The levels inside the apartment building were high enough that the units were evacuated and the power was shut off.
"We shut off the electric to the building to keep it from sparking," said Edwardsville Fire Chief Rick Welle.
Nearby homes were also tested for gas but were all clear. Ameren crews originally thought they would have to tear up North Main Street, one of the busiest roads in downtown Edwardsville. However, crews were able to reach the break by drilling more than five feet down on the sidewalk.
Apartment residents were told they could return to their homes, but they will not have the ability to heat them.