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Chester gas breaks closes highway, business


June 24, 2014

Eric Seidle

Emergency workers stay on alert at Chester Monday afternoon after a natural gas line break forced a U.S. Highway 2 closure and business evacuations.

A gas line break in Chester closed down U.S. Highway 2 Monday and forced Stricks Ag to evacuate its building.

A NorthWestern Energy spokesperson reported that the line break was caused by a third-party contractor who was boring in the area to install a fiber optic cable when they broke the line.

Employees at Stricks said there was a strong odor of natural gas when the line broke, but it dissipated by 5 p.m.

David Basic, the manager at Stricks Ag, said the gas line broke a little after 2 p.m. and the leak was stopped around 5:30 p.m. After the gas leak was stopped, business went on as usual, he said.

Basic said the elevator and shop were both evacuated during the gas break, and they were allowed to go back in at 5:30 p.m.

NorthWestern Energy spokesperson Claudia Rapkoch said the line will be fixed today.


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