CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Walmart at Southridge Centre was evacuated after a major gas leak was reported behind the store.
Construction workers were digging behind a store next to Walmart at about 4:20 p.m. Thursday when they struck a gas line or meter, said C.W. Sigman, Kanawha County Fire Coordinator.
Natural gas was leaking into a building adjacent to Walmart, Kanawha County Manager Jennifer Sayre said in an email. Sigman said firefighters made the right call to evacuate Walmart and the large parking lot.
He said a Foodland grocery store on Davis Creek was destroyed in a natural gas explosion in 1983. No one was killed in the blast but at least 15 people were injured.
Emergency crews evacuated the store, which they described as "crowded," and blocked traffic to prevent any others from coming into the area.
"They erred on the side of caution and got those people out of there," Sigman said. "They did the right thing. They did a good job of making sure everybody was safe and that the building was safe before they opened it back up."
He said utility workers checked out the damage and shut off the gas to the building.No injuries were reported. The store reopened about 5:45 p.m.
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