Residents allowed to return to Derry Twp. homes after gas leak

Nearly 700 people were evacuated from their homes after a major natural gas leak in Derry Township early Thursday.

The gas leak was caused after a crash involving two cars along Waltonville Road just after midnight. The car struck a natural gas utility station, which is a main feed for natural gas delivery into the township.  The station sustained substantial damage and natural gas was released into the air.  The release of the gas could be heard approximately one mile away.

Police said the accident involved only minor injuries and they are looking into whether drugs or alcohol played a role.

Police said gas began filling nearby homes in several developments, which brought approximately 20 volunteer fire departments to the scene.

The gas leak was contained just before 2 a.m. Thursday, but residents remained evacuated until they were given the all-clear by police and UGI officials to return around 4:45 a.m.

Most of the people who were evacuated assembled at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center.

Two firefighters were taken to the hospital as a precaution. 

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