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Gas Leak in Derry Township causes early morning evacuation

A major gas leak in Derry Township causes a restless morning for neighbors.

Just after midnight Thursday, more than 500 neighbors in Derry Township were told to evacuate their homes and stay at the Hershey Lodge.

Neighbor, Susan Hafenstein says, “Most people were nervous, we didn’t know what was going on.”

Hershey Volunteer Deputy Fire Chief, Rodney Sonderman says a car struck a gas line at the intersection of Waltonville and Wood Streets.  It created a strong gas odor.  That’s when authorities ordered an evacuation of homes within a mile of the crash.

Chief Sonderman says, “Then we had crews and the gas company go house to house to make sure no gas had gotten into houses and no reading in any houses.”

Hafenstein says, “They released us step by step, they told us the first courts (housing developments) had been checked out, they were to go home and wait in the driveway.”

UGI officials say the leak is stabilized and it’s not going to affect neighbors’ gas service. The reported odor is no longer a concern.

UGI Spokesperson, Richard Stahovich says, “Over time the odor that may linger will dissipate, gas is lighter than air, we know it has a tendency to go up.”

Stahovich says repairs to the transfer station are underway.

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