Around 3:30 p.m. Thursday, a strong gas odor in the area just south of the railroad tracks in Carbon led to the evacuation of several families living in the area.
Carbon Town Marshall Ron King reported the leak to the Clay County Sheriff's Department after a backhoe in the area accidentally damaged the three-quarter-inch gas-line while working on a water line.
Due to the nature of the low-lying area around South Linden and Second streets, officials on the scene reported the fumes were settling at ground level and not dissipating. Several families living in the immediate area were evacuated to the town's fire house as a precaution.
Members of the CCSD, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Van Buren and Dick Johnson volunteer fire departments provided evacuation assistance and maintained roadblocks within a mile of the gas leak while a repair crew from the natural gas company, Vectron Energy Delivery, shut off gas to the line and temporarily repaired the leak until crews could return to permanently repair the line.
By 4:30 p.m. the scene was cleared of fumes enough to allow emergency personnel to leave and families to return to their homes.
Carbon Town President Joan Rightsell, who lives across the street from where the leak occurred, was impressed at how the emergency was handled.
"Everyone was so quick to respond to the scene," she said. "They asked me to evacuate, but being under the weather I didn't want to go to the firehouse and make everyone sick, so I went to my son's house. They really did a wonderful job making sure everyone was safe.