JORDAN TOWNSHIP -- Emergency crews evacuated homes for a time near the Lycoming/Columbia County line because of a reported natural gas line rupture.
According to Columbia County EMA officials, there was a gas rupture and leak around 9:30 p.m. on Wilson Road in Jordan Township near Unityville. There was initially a fire, but it was put out.
An initial evacuation radius of three miles was reduced to one and a half miles. About 130 people went to shelters set up at two nearby fire stations.
Just before midnight, the evacuation order was lifted and those residents were allowed to return to their homes.
There are no reports of any injuries.
"It almost sounded like an airplane crash," said Craig Seely of Unityville. "It just started roaring. It sounded kind of like about 500 freight trains running down the track at the same time. Windows started rattling in the house. It shook the house."
"It was very loud, kind of a roar, almost a little bit like an explosion followed by a loud roar," said Benton Borough EMA Coordinator Dan Jankowski. "Actually my thought at the time was that it might have been a gas line that is in that area. There was some conjecture that it was a plane crash. It was that loud."
EMA officials said the gas was quickly shut off by Williams Gas workers who were called to the scene.