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Downtown gas line ruptured

June 03, 1998

Construction workers accidentally ruptured a gas line at about noon Wednesday at Jonathan and Franklin streets, snarling downtown traffic for more than an hour.

No one was injured or evacuated, said Gary Street, project manager for Lockheed Martin, which is upgrading downtown traffic signals.

Street's crews were digging trenches to install electrical conduit when they cut into the Columbia Gas line.

The location of the line was incorrectly marked, said Jeanie Owens, Columbia Gas manager.

Street had just complained to the city and the gas company on Friday about the number of incorrectly marked gas lines, he said.

When they hit the line, crews immediately shut down their equipment and called 911 and Columbia Gas, Street said.

Sections of Potomac and Washington streets were closed, with Hagerstown Fire Police directing traffic around the detours. Jonathan Street already was closed.

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Because of the rupture, Jonathan Street could not be reopened at 3 p.m. as scheduled.

The road is expected to be closed again today between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Street said.

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