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Route 25 in Commack reopens after gas leak causes closure, officials say

A construction crew hit a gas line in Commack Tuesday morning, shutting down Route 25 in both directions into midafternoon as crews made repairs, authorities said.

A worker was digging up dirt to install underground electric wires when he hit a service line to the main in front of 2186 Jericho Turnpike shortly before 10:10 a.m., causing a gas leak, said Wendy Ladd, a National Grid spokeswoman.

"He ripped it from the main with a backhoe," she said.

Route 25, known also as Jericho Turnpike near Indian Head Road, has since been reopened, authorities said.

The private contractor did not call the utility's 811 line to ask for gas lines to be marked out to avoid hitting them, Ladd said. The contractor's name was not immediately available.

Up to 10 business were evacuated, according to Steve Silverman, spokesman for the Huntington Fire Chiefs Council.

Ladd said several commercial properties were affected, because 32 service lines had to be disconnected from the main gas pipe so National Grid workers could make repairs. One service line could feed many customers, she said.

National Grid crews shut down the gas immediately in the morning, she said, but had a tougher time trying to close five valves, an hourslong process.

"We had to find the valves," Ladd said. "They were buried under snow."

The pipe strike happened outside, not inside a building, Suffolk County police said. No injuries have been reported, police said.

Ladd said repair crews will have to install a new section of plastic pipe on the service line.

It was unclear when the repairs would be done.

The gas strike closed Route 25 in both directions for about five hours between Veterans Memorial Highway and Indian Head Road before it fully reopened at 4 p.m., police said.

Silverman said the Commack Fire Department coordinated the evacuations, assisted by the Commack Volunteer Ambulance Corps and the East Northport and Kings Park fire departments.


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