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Headache, but no problem

A natural gas leak in Clanton’s business district Monday morning resulted in the evacuation of an entire city block, shutting down a portion of Seventh Street for approximately two hours.

All roads and businesses have been cleared to reopen at this time.

Between 10 and 10:30 a.m., Clanton Fire and Police responded to the incident and blocked traffic along Seventh Street between First Avenue and Third Avenue North, Clanton Fire Chief David Driver said.

A company was doing construction work in an alley behind Bennett’s Department Store and had an auger digging a hole in the ground. Workers accidentally struck a natural gas line, which caused the leak.

Surrounding businesses were evacuated and Seventh Street was blocked because of the potential for an explosion or fire, Driver indicated.

“If it found an ignition source, it could cause a fire,” he said. “We had everyone out of the danger zone.”

Fortunately, no such incident took place and crewmen from Alagasco came in and repaired the leak. Seventh Street was then reopened to traffic about noon or shortly thereafter.

During the incident, Clanton Police officers had to direct traffic on several intersecting streets.