Gas leak in downtown Tyler repaired -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Gas leak in downtown Tyler repaired

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A gas leak that evacuated much of Downtown Tyler has been repaired. The leak happened around noon at the construction site of the new Smith County Jail.

A heavy smell of gas fell over the city with the wind carrying it from building to building.

"When I opened the door and it's just this strong scent, it's just gas," Renee Gutierrez, who works at Levine's, said.

Gutierrez was at work when she noticed groups of people outside of their businesses.

"I thought they were on lunch, then I seen the fire truck come and I was like, 'Oh something ain't right,' so I came out here and that's when I smelled all the strong gas," she said.

Construction crews had hit a four-inch gas pipe and the gas leaking out. Renee's manager, Ralph Mason, heard the news on his lunch break and headed back early. As he drove into town, he could smell the gas from blocks away.

"With the windows down in the car I could smell the gas all the way over there and of course the wind's coming out of the south, or southeast, and I was shocked at how strong it was," Mason said.

A voluntary evacuation was issued. Although the Levine's employees stayed put, the Smith County Courthouse was evacuated, including inmates. The gas leak last for more than an hour until Centerpoint Energy was able to seal it off.

"No, everything's good, it's only dealing with this immediate area right here, and it's under control and everything's fine," said Officer Don Martin, with Tyler Police, said.

There were no injuries related to the leak, although Renee Gutierrez did complain that she had a headache due to the fumes.

Air testing was done and air was deemed to be safe.

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