'All-clear' in Delco after gas leak stopped

Tim Jimenez
November 12, 2019 - 6:57 am
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UPDATED: 10:45 a.m.

MIDDLETOWN TWP., Pa (KYW Newsradio) — A gasoline leak and the strong odor that came with it led to residents of a Delaware County apartment complex sheltering in place Monday night. Officials say residents of the Turnbridge Apartments on Glen Riddle Road are now safe.

A county official went around Tuesday morning with a device to make sure there was nothing dangerous in the air. He said readings are normal. And the smell of gas wasn't nearly so intense anymore, officials say, thanks to the rain.

Delaware County Emergency Management Director Tim Boyce says around 5:30 p.m. there was a leak at the nearby Sunoco pumping station.

"We were told it was either gasoline or jet fuel. They're the most likely products. They’re very similar in nature. But we believe it was gasoline that leaked from the line," he said. 

The company Energy Transfer says it was a small misting of gasoline from an eight-inch line that they had to shut off. A company spokeswoman says the public wasn't at risk, but because of the smell officials ordered a shelter-in-place.

Boyce says the smell was so strong, medics checked out a couple of firefighters and one resident who were nauseated. 

Residents like Kristen were alarmed.

"The smell was pretty intense," she said. "I'm all the way up on the third building on the end, so we saw the lights, we saw the firetrucks, the policemen."

She has a small child, and she was very worried he would breathe in something harmful.

Boyce says this leak isn't related to the Mariner East Pipeline or other incidents of strong odors in different parts of the county.

"We've had two significant odor events in Delaware County. One was yesterday morning. They're just not located near each other, and the winds don't lead us to believe it's the same event," he said.

The state's Department of Environmental Protection is now in charge of the investigation and monitoring cleanup.

Related: Delaware County investigates new reports of mysterious odor