U. S. 42 reopening following gas explosion that injured three - WDRB 41 Louisville News

U. S. 42 reopening following gas explosion that injured three

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Courtesy: Julia Pritchett Courtesy: Julia Pritchett
Emergency vehicles gather at Stock Yards Bank on U.S. 42 to respond to situation. Coutesy: Julia Pritchett Emergency vehicles gather at Stock Yards Bank on U.S. 42 to respond to situation. Coutesy: Julia Pritchett
Traffic is being diverted off U.S. 42 through the Hillcrest neighborhood. Courtesy: Julia Pritchett Traffic is being diverted off U.S. 42 through the Hillcrest neighborhood. Courtesy: Julia Pritchett
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Emergency officials and utility crews worked around the clock to make repairs following a natural gas line explosion in Oldham County.  

Officials responded to the initial call of the explosion near the Stock Yards Bank area near U.S. 42 about 5 p.m. Wednesday.  The busy roadway started to reopen to traffic by 6:30 a.m. on Thursday.  There were heavy delays in the morning commute.

According to North Oldham County Fire department spokesperson Rick Albers, sub contractors for LG&E were digging in the area of a 12-inch distribution gas main and the gas main exploded. He says there was no fire, but the gas "released explosively" and scattered debris across U.S. 42 over a large area.

Oldham County EMA director Kevin Nuss said two LG&E contractors were sent to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Crews on scene tell WDRB one more person was taken to the hospital with injuries.  

Oldham County Schools spokeswoman Tracy Harris says they have four north campus schools impacted by the explosion.  But all schools are open.  Some schools may not have hot water or be able to cook with gas stoves in the cafeteria. But Harris says they had enough time to make plans for the school day and lunches.

Albers says it is unclear at this point what caused the line to explode, but the gas has been shut off to the surrounding neighborhood.  Residents were escorted back into their homes in the area on Wednesday night. As a precaution, emergency crews evacuated homes in the subdivision that backs up to the location of the leak.

Albers says LG&E  the crews are monitoring the area with gas meters to make sure residents in the area are not in danger. Any ignition sources have been isolated to prevent any flash fires. An LG&E spokesperson says about 2400 customers are affected by the gas shut off. They say residents should not attempt to re-light their own pilot lights. LG&E will have to do it for each individual house.

Traffic continues to be slow in the area as U.S. 42 is shut down at Ridgemoor Drive and Hillcross Parkway. Officials ask that people avoid the area if possible. Traffic is being routed off U.S. 42 in Jefferson County onto Covered Bridge Road.

Witnesses near the scene described noises like jet engines and a loud boom. Harrods Creek Fire Dept. confirms they heard the boom and other emergency workers are responding.

According to door hangers on houses near the scene of the incident, LG&E was replacing gas meters in the area Wednesday. There is no indication if this is related to the sub contractor's work.


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