Update: Evacuation Lifted After Reported Gas Line Rupture

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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.


  • deanmars2013

    WILLIAMS says there was no fire. This is the 24″- 1,000 PSI “middle pipeline” of three lines in this narrow right of way. Had the gas that rushed out of that section of line ignited, it likely would have caused the other two to explode as well! Our first responders and the residents they were evacuating were in grave danger! This time we were lucky! WILLIAMS Should be investing in replacing aging Service instead of building their proposed Atlantic Sunrise 42″ 1,500 PSI LNG EXPORT PIPELINE!

  • Truth seeker

    Sounds like Tim below is one of Williams pipeline shills. Williams instructs employees to post positive messages about their operations. Management positions at Williams requires it. They are not only thieves and liars, they constantly talk about how stupid people are in NE PA. They’re so arrogant, they mock people. I’ve seen their workers crap on peoples lawns, driveways and property in general and laugh about it. I’ve seen them doing donuts on peoples lawns and simply drive off leaving the ruts and damaged landscaping behind. These are evil people.

  • William Huston

    Can anyone please confirm for me the exact location of the failure?
    Is this nearest he intersection of Boudman Rd. and North Woods?
    Or is this nearest Bradley road?
    Or is it nearest Mordan Hollow Road?

  • Bea Freer

    What’s it going to take for people to wake up to the constant propaganda of the natural gas companies? Their paid commercials don’t talk about the explosions, how fracking is increasing radon levels and cancer, how they bully towns and steal properties from landowners. Have they told you how after they take your land that you can no longer use it but still have to pay taxes on it? Does this sound American? It’s time you act like you are intelligent citizens who can think for yourselves rather than be dictated by their lies.

    Chief and Williams, for instance, have absolutely NO INTEREST in working honestly WITH landowners for an agreeable plan. They are as greedy and evil as it gets people. They outrightly lie to government agencies. And the government is allowing them to get away with it. They trespass your land. They don’t care about you or your community. Wake up. All they want is the gas and their BIG PROFITS at YOUR EXPENSE.

    Don’t think you won’t be ill-affected if you’re not a landowner. Just residing in any community where there are natural gas lines puts you at risk. Did they know how far the explosion zone extends from the pipeline? Do you think your local volunteer fire company can handle problems with all the pipelines that are planned for Pennsylvania?
    And when the damages come, Chief and Williams will leave the expense and mess for you to clean up.

    It’s time to speak up for your rights. Care more about money. Care about your community, neighbors and the land and clean water you have taken for granted. Care that your rights are being trampled on as more and more pipelines are being laid throughout the state.

    The government is suppose to work for the people. They are the ones who are supposed to be protecting the public. Most instead only care about the taxes the oil and gas generate. If you really knew what was happening — with the behind the doors dealing between FERC and Big Oil and Gas (like giving away the land of American taxpayers so Big Oil and Gas can profit) — you would throw up. You wouldn’t believe this could be happening in America. It is. Wake up to the nightmare. It’s only just begun.

    • Elmer E. Fudd

      Me Tarra and 55 other readers? Have ever been near a house when it explodes due to a small amount of nat gas leakage ? Well for one thing it leaves a mushroom cloud now i love mushrooms
      so it must be a good thing right? Im a block away and my house felt like a dump truck hit at 50mph.
      Can you imagine if this blew ? People never learn till its too late.Some like you never learn.
      Sorry but i have a right to state what the fact are in case this ever does happen so we all are aware of the hazards. Yes i do have a life and it belongs to me not a money hungry profiteer.
      Thank you kindly live long healthy and prosper. ps. (be sure to drink the well water)

  • Robin

    It was most scary experience my family ever had .we live in Robbins trailer ctrl just off 118 42 and 239 it sounded like a tornado so scary we were evacuated we stay friends house thank god everyone safe

  • Elmer E. Fudd

    Wiped out a bunch of people in the Calif mishap.
    We must learn from disasters…Ban it before it takes
    more ..

    • Guest

      I’m with you. Let’s ban using fossil fuels and nothing bad will happen, anymore. No accidents involving trucks or trains carrying petroleum products either!

  • Tara

    This is tragic and it is happening more and more it seems. The antiquated gas infrastructure puts people at risk and the gas companies are trying to convince us that we need more, that it’s safer, that it is cheaper and that there is no alternative. Honestly, we will not be relegated to horses and buggies and wood burning hearths and candle lamps if the gas industry goes away. We can transition now to solar and wind and Elon Musk is going to make this a reality for every consumer. With Tesla cars and Tesla batteries we can transition to the future and look back on this day as a tragic lesson in misguided priorities. People shouldn’t be sacrificed for power or profit, ban cracking now!

      • Rae

        I heat and air-condition my home with geothermal — best switch I ever made. Much move even and doesn’t require fossil fuel. Has already paid for itself with the savings of not having to pay for fuel oil.

    • J

      Everything always seems great when you have no idea what you are talking about. Maybe we should ban automobiles too, I heard somewhere a lot of people die in those things.

    • S

      Didn’t Elon’s first Tesla’s catch on fire while sitting parked in garages? Hasn’t Elon’s SpaceX program had multiple failed rockets which exploded on launch? If he hasn’t killed anyone yet, I’m sure his products will eventually. There are risks in every industry, but without natural gas many people would freeze to death in their homes over winter. Renewable resources are not enough right now to power everyone’s home. There are days when the sun doesn’t shine, the wind barely blows, and droughts cause low water flows hindering hydro plants. If you think every home will be able to be powered by a Tesla battery, you are mistaken. You are also mistaken if you believe a Tesla battery would never burn down anyone’s home if they were in everyone’s home. Also, if I’m not mistaken, Tesla cars and batteries are a little out of the price range of your average consumer. One day, maybe there will be a completely safe renewable resource which has no environmental consequences. Until then, you are completely delusional if you do not understand the necessity of natural gas.

    • K

      Tara, you really need to do some research before making comments. I’ve researched a variety of energy options, worked in the energy industry for decades, and wrote my thesis on energy. Wind and solar aren’t feasible for most and they’re not transportable. Also, Williams is currently working toward replacing the antiquated infrastructure. Natural gas is necessary if you don’t want people to freeze to death. It’s affordable and typically safe. If we all started burning wood, I suspect you’d have an issue with that, too, because of the ‘pollution’. Plus, someone’s house would surely burn down which would make you more opposed to wood. I’m all for harnessing and using solar or wind, but right now it’s not efficient or affordable and a Tesla battery isn’t a realistic answer.

      • deanmars2013

        No “K”, WILLIAMS is working on huge projects to deliver FRACKED Marcellus and Utica shale gas to LNG EXPORT FACILITIES for its contracted shippers like Cabot Oil and Gas, Range Resources, and many more. These Drilling companies have already inked contracts with Japan, China, and India promising them LNG for the next 20 yrs!
        This means More and More Fracking, Gathering lines, waste pits, compressor stations, metering stations, deep injection wells for “waste water disposal”,( which is actually just Hiding Toxic, Radioactive FLOWBACK that has caused swarms of Earthquakes in Ca., Ark., Okla., Ohio, etc.)

    • Edwin Husain O'Frackstone

      Yes indeed Tara research “MrTeslonian” he has built a system that can burn waste “xmas” trees yard waste shrubbery landfill rubbish and produce multiple fuel resources. HE IS AN AMAZING YOUNG MAN.Now how many human planted pine forests have burned out west in the last 20 yrs?
      Harvest them , make gasoline and oil then replant repeat cycle…its all here because God gave us these means of survival.

  • George

    Everything’s okay, we’re back in the 118/239/42 triangle. But wow, it did sound just like a fighter jet buzzed the house at supersonic speed…almost broke the windows in the house, and I’m a 1/2 mile away from the site! Then the leak sounded like a kid’s train whistle that got louder and softer every minute or so until authorities told us to GET OUT NOW. Thankfully the evac order was only for a few hours…still, we’ll be talking about this for a long time around here!

  • Meg

    I hope my family is ok. Im now worried about them. I live 2 hours away, wish I was with them right now.

      • John Trallo

        Tom, you make it sound like there are no other options. You remind me of those who said, “If man were meant to fly, he’d have wings.” and “The automobile will never replace the horse”. How sad. Fortunately for the rest of the civilized world, there are more forward thinking who are developing alternative form of renewable energy.

    • BZ22

      What did fracking have to do with this? Underground gas lines have been around for years. They’re under the streets in most every city. Accidents happen in every industry every day.

      • citizensane1

        FYI: The delivery lines that are under city streets are 8″ pipelines that are under 14 psi. The 42″ transmission lines that these pipeline operators would like to lay in our back yards are under 1500 psi, and have an AHC (Area of High Consequence) rating of 1/4 mile in each direction. What that means is, anything, or anyone within 1/4 mile would not survive. I don’t know about you, but my family, my home, and my way of life is not going to be sacrificed, or put in harms way so multinational corporations could transport Marcellus gas to the growing LNG export terminals so they could sell it overseas to China, Japan, India, Norway, and Great Britain for 5x the US domestic price.

      • d

        your exactly right. fracking has nothing to do with this. those lines were there long before any of the resent boom took place. Gas will not be going anywhere for a long time if ever so you might as well get used to it. I would bet that 75% of the electricity used is produced burning natural gas, oh yeah and the few that are not using gas are using coal which is killing our ozone and your lungs( that’s a great choice). the fact is this country has no other alternative that can reliably create the energy the US demands! As previously stated every industry has accidents no matter what it is. if you look into the deaths caused by gas compared to other industries I would bet that it is one of the lowest accident rates. you better not drive your car anymore either I guess because I would bet that the chance of getting killed driving is 90% greater than a pipeline rupture or any gas accident for that matter

    • Elmer E. Fudd

      Yes it is a wicked thing, almost killed my dad at work once.
      Never had it never will. I too was near a gasexplosion as my neighbours house exploded from it.
      I SAY NO THANK YOU to this wicked dirty resource.

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