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Gas leak comes at end of Swedish Days

Published: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 5:30 a.m. CST

GENEVA – A ruptured gas line briefly closed James Street at 5:30 p.m. Sunday while the Swedish Days Festival was closing down, officials said.

Geneva Fire Department Deputy Chief Mark Einwich said a crew removing a tent stake hit a 1.25-inch steel service line that runs under James Street.

“When the tent company came to remove the tent stakes out of that spot, that is when they could smell the gas odor and hear the hissing from the gas line,” Einwich said. “We’re not sure how it happened, but we can speculate that when they installed the tent stake last week at the beginning of Swedish Days, that is when the damage occurred.”

Einwich said the tent stake probably was acting as a plug, and it was not until it was removed that the gas had a route to escape.

At no time during the six-day festival was there a detectable gas odor, he said.

Nicor sent a dig crew that managed to get the service line turned off shortly after 8 p.m., he said.

“It was helpful to have a breeze dissipating the gas, and we did not have any gas pooling anywhere,” Einwich said. “And there was no cooking going on, no other hazards. The carnival was done; it shut down early because of the potential for a storm.”

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