Story Summary

Natural gas leak in Hershey


About 700 residents had to be relocated from their homes to Hershey Lodge and Convention Center.

Derry Township Police first responded to a 2 vehicle accident on Waltonville Road at the intersection of Wood Road. One vehicle went off the roadway and slammed into a natural gas utility gas station on the corner of the intersection. The station is a main feed for natural gas delivery in Derry Township. Sustaining massive damage the station caused the release of natural gas into the atmosphere for a bout a one mile stretch.

The safety of the victims involved in the accident as well as the emergency response teams became a concern and they were immediately evacuated from the scene. The natural gas began filling nearby  homes which resulted in the evacuation. With the help of American Red Cross and Hershey Entertainment they were able to take care of these people and get them temporary stay at the Convention Center and Hershey Lodge.

U.G.I. responded to the scene of the gas leak and were able to contain the gas and an inspection of the affected areas to get the residents back into their homes. Once they provided clearance, residents were able to return to their homes safe and sound. The accident remains under investigation and there is no further information available at this time.

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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.

Nearly 500 people in Dauphin County  were evacuated this morning after a massive gas leak caused evacuations. It happened around 1 o’clock this morning in Derry Township.  The leak is now under control and UGI says it is now safe for people to go back to their homes.

The leak was caused when a car crashed into a gas line shortly after midnight. No word on what caused the crash or the condition of the driver.

People evacuated were alerted by police through a red alert system, which contacts them through email or phone calls.

Many of the people who were evacuated gathered at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center.

Fox43 is on the scene and will continue to bring updated information.