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Gas Leak Forces Homes To Be Evacuated, Spews Water And Debris Into Air In Winslow Township

WINSLOW TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) -- Over a dozen homes in Winslow Township were evacuated Tuesday morning due to a gas leak. The gas leak happened in the area of South Egg Harbor Road and Fleming Pike around 11:15 a.m.

LIVE: Chopper 3 is over a gas leak in the area of South Egg Harbor Road and Fleming Pike in Winslow Township, which has forced nearby homes to evacuate. FULL STORY:

Posted by CBS Philly on Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The sheer pressure of the leak, mixed with the ground water, created what looked to be a muddy water main break. Video from Chopper 3 showed water and debris spewing into the air.

The intense power of the rupture had natural gas rocketing more than 20 feet in the air.

"I heard the noise and it was blowing off. I thought it was an air compressor but here it was gas. A few minutes later the cops came told me to evacuate," said resident Joe Ross.

Winslow Township Police say a six-inch line was breached by a third-party contractor doing work in the area along South Egg Harbor Road. A total of 15 homes were evacuated as a precaution.

As a result, the township ordered an evacuation shelter be opened.

"The gas company is expecting, at least a couple of hours, hopefully before midnight, that all of the repair work and roadways completely open. There is some work to be done by the gas company when service is restored as far as contacting these homes to relight any gas equipment," said Winslow Township Police Chief Richard Ostermueller.

Ostermueller added there's no fear of an explosion.

After a couple of hours, the high-pressure line was pinched, stemming the flow of natural gas.

"I went down to the mail box, saw this helicopter, I was wondering what was going on and I saw all those flashing lights and I thought, 'My goodness, what in the world is going on?'" said resident Trudy Scardino.

The gas leak also caused the Atlantic City Line Rail service to be suspended in both directions between Atco and Hammonton. Rail tickets and passes are being cross-honored by New Jersey Transit buses.

No injuries were reported.

CBS3's Joe Holden contributed to this report.

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