News

Sinkhole, gas leak force evacuations in Bethlehem

Written by The Associated Press | Dec 28, 2016 2:25 PM
fire_line2.jpg

(Bethlehem) -- A sinkhole has collapsed part of a Pennsylvania city street and a gas leak believed to be caused by a ruptured main forced the evacuation of several homes.

The Bethlehem Fire Department says about 30 residents had to leave their homes early Wednesday. A four-block area has been closed to traffic.

Bethlehem is about 70 miles north of Philadelphia.

Fire Chief Robert Novatnack says firefighters were called to the scene around 3:20 a.m. and detected a strong odor of natural gas, including inside some homes. The gas was shut off after several hours and utility crews were making repairs.

Several evacuated residents are sheltering at a nearby school.

A UGI utility company worker was injured when he fell into the hole. He drove himself to the hospital as a precaution.

An earlier story is below:

A sinkhole and gas leak has forced the evacuation of several homes in eastern Pennsylvania.

The Bethlehem Fire Department says about 30 residents had to leave their homes early Wednesday.

A four-block area has been closed to traffic.

Fire Chief Robert Novatnack tells The Express-Times of Easton that firefighters were called to the scene around 3:20 a.m. and detected a strong odor of natural gas, including inside some of the homes.

Some residents have taken shelter at a nearby middle school while others are staying with friends or relatives.

Novatnack says heavy equipment is working to shut off the gas.

Authorities are checking on the extent of the sinkhole. The chief says it could go from curb to curb under the street.

Published in News

back to top

Give Now

Estate Planning

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Smart Talk

National Edward R. Murrow Awards

DuPont Columbia Awards

Support Local Journalism

Latest News from NPR

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »