A high-pressure natural gas line severed by a construction crew's back hoe forced police and fire officials to seal off the tiny hamlet of Dublin in northern Harford County yesterday afternoon.
Police acted quickly to seal off all roads leading to Dublin at Routes 136 and 440 about 3 p.m.
Members of the Darlington Volunteer Fire Company set up a command post at their Dublin station, about 20 feet north of the leak and tried to plug the leak in the 1-inch line.
About 15 people from two nearby houses and from the Dublin Market located across Route 136 and just south of the leak were evacuated to a safe distance until Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. crews arrived to make repairs, said Melinda Hummel, a BG&E; spokeswoman.
The line was plugged about 5:45 p.m. and no one was without BG&E; service, according to Ms. Hummel and Sue Collins, a spokeswoman for Harford County.
Crews planned to remain at the scene for several hours to be certain the emergency repairs were sufficient.
James W. Terrell, chief of the Emergency Operations Center for the county, said there was no real danger to public safety by the time he arrived at the scene about 4 p.m.
About 45 volunteer firemen had laid hoses as a precaution and were standing by with four engines, two ambulances and a Rescue Unit, he said.
Motorists on their way home from work or on their way to schools to pick up children found their way blocked until 6:10 p.m. Some parents used an access road to reach students on a soccer field at nearby Harford Christian School, but most drivers sat and waited until the roadblocks were removed.