Gas leak in Etna prompts evacuations; utility worker sickened



ETNA, Pa. - A natural gas leak in Etna prompted nearby businesses to evacuate Thursday afternoon.

Officials said crews working to repair a sewer line punctured a gas line about noon Thursday along High Street.

Three businesses near the intersection of Butler and High streets were evacuated while crews worked to repair the line.

“It does scare you, especially when you got this big enough building,” Jean Peterson, owner of a Butler Street bar, said. “They told me I wasn’t allowed back in. The gas was really bad, it was overwhelming.”

Authorities said a utility worker in the hole was immediately overcome by the sickening fumes of uncapped natural gas but didn’t have to go to a hospital.

Officials said by 12:30 p.m. gas was no longer pouring from the punctured pike, but firefighters were called to ventilate nearby businesses.

Gas crews are still assessing the damage.