July 2, 2016

Mostly clear

Riding mower cuts into natural gas line

MONTVILLE TWP. — State Route 162 was closed for several hours Wednesday for cleanup of a natural gas leak in front of a home.

Montville police Sgt. Chris LaFond said a resident at 4595 Sharon Copley Road (state Route 162) was riding his lawn mower at about 11:30 a.m. when he struck a gas well connection in his front yard close to the roadway.

Sand covers the area in front of 4595 Sharon Copley Road on Wednesday, where a Montville Township resident struck the connection to a pipeline from natural gas wells, causing oil to and gas to leak. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY KIERA MANION-FISCHER)

“It looked very similar to a geyser,” LaFond said. “It was spilling a yellowish cloud into the air.”

LaFond said no one was injured and no one had to be evacuated.

Medina Fire Chief Bob Painter said the gas cloud rose about 15 to 20 feet above the power lines.

Painter said the pipeline is five miles of 5-inch pipe owned by Atlas Energy. It transmits natural gas from local wells, he said.

Oil also spilled onto the road, and the Fire Department and police put down sand to soak it up. He said he wasn’t sure how much oil and gas leaked.

He said representatives from the company took about a half-hour to get to the scene, but they were able to shut off valves and clean up the leak.

The road was closed between state routes 57 and 3, except to local traffic, until about 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.