The neighborhood surrounding village hall was closed to traffic Monday morning when a gas line leading to 501 Desplaines was ruptured. For several hours, beginning shortly after 8 a.m., the pressurized line could be heard whistling as natural gas rushed out of the pipe and into the air. According to municipal officials at the scene, construction crews working on a renovation at the vacant building dislodged a compression fitting; no pipes were actually cracked. It was unclear whether crews understood the line was to have been turned off at the time work was being done.
Traffic along Desplaines was blocked between Madison and Jackson until about 11:30 a.m., according to Village Administrator Tim Gillian. Meanwhile, residents in the area were advised of the problem but no mandatory evacuations were implemented. Because of the Columbus Day holiday, village hall was largely empty when the leak occurred. However, dispatchers for the police department and a prisoner being held by local authorities were temporarily transferred to River Forest.
The village is rehabbing the structure at 501 Desplaines to give the police department additional office space for its detectives.