Gas leak in downtown Topeka near the Kansas Statehouse

By Luke Ranker and Justin Wingerter
Topeka Capital Journal – April 26, 2017

A gas leak in downtown Topeka forced the evacuation of a roughly six block area, include state office buildings, Wednesday afternoon.

For nearly an hour employees huddled on the Statehouse lawn as emergency crews assessed the leak, which started near S.W. 9th and Topeka Boulevard.

Capitol Police blocked traffic on Topeka Boulevard from S.W. 7th south to S.W. 10th and on S.W. 9th street from S.W. Harrison west to S.W. Tyler Street starting just before 2 p.m.

Shortly after 2 p.m. Topeka Fire Department crews began evacuating multiple buildings in that area, including the Docking State Office Building and other government offices, according the Shawnee County Emergency Management office. About 100 state employees gathered on the southwest lawn of the Capitol, some were wearing masks. By 2:45 p.m. workers were allowed to return to their offices.

The First Presbyterian Church, the Kansas Association of Insurance, a Pizza Hut at S.W. 10th and Topeka and other businesses were also in the evacuation area. Just before 2:20 p.m. the zone was expanded south to include the Walgreens southwest of the Docking building.

“Please do not smoke while in the area,” a Kansas Highway Patrol alert said.

Pedestrians were seen holding their noses to avoid the smell of gas as officers directed them out of the area.

A “third party” struck a plastic gas line near the S.W. 9th and Topeka Boulevard intersection, Dawn Tripp, communications manager for Kansas Gas Services said. Crews were expected to have the line repaired by the end of the day.

In the area, a stretch of Topeka Boulevard’s southbound lane is currently being rebuilt.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

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