National Grid: Gas leak in Warren forces dozens of evacuations

WARREN, R.I. (WPRI) — A third-party contractor hit a main gas line on Water Street, causing a gas leak and local evacuations Monday afternoon, according to a spokesperson from National Grid.

National Grid said the Warren Fire Department evacuated around 50 individuals in the area near the reported leak. Water Street, which has a number of homes and businesses, remains shut down, according to Warren Fire Chief Alexander Galinelli.

“As you can tell, it’s like a jet engine in the middle of Water Street,” Warren Fire Chief Alexander Galinelli said. “The previous two leaks over here, we’ve had little households lines, but this is by far one of the bigger ones.”

National Grid said they became aware of the incident around 1:30 p.m. Monday, a spokesperson said. The company worked to isolate and shut off the leak, but natural gas reportedly poured into the air for about two hours, according to Galinelli.

“The reason for the caution by National Grid is that anything we have can cause a spark,” Galinelli said. “Radios, transmissions, whatever could happen to cause a spark and with natural gas it could ignite the gas,” Galinelli said.

Eyewitness News has a crew on scene and will update this story on WPRI.com throughout the day and tonight on Eyewitness News starting live at 5.