Gas Leak Forces Evacuation of Four Greenwich Village Apartment Buildings

By Nicole Bode on January 28, 2011 8:23am | Updated on January 28, 2011 8:45am

By Olivia Scheck and Nicole Bode

DNAinfo Staff

GREENWICH VILLAGE — Four apartment buildings were evacuated Friday morning after a gas pipe burst beneath Charles Street, sending enough gas into the homes nearby that it could have caused an explosion.

Emergency workers had to evacuate 26 people from 91, 95, 101 and 102 Charles Street after getting the call of leaking gas around 12:15 a.m. Friday, fire officials said.

The Office of Emergency Management brought an MTA bus to help residents keep warm, and around 15 people stayed inside the bus until they were allowed to return home shortly after 7 a.m.

"It was in explosive ranges. Literally, the whole building could have blown up," an OEM official told the busload of people.

ConEd workers had to drill through Charles Street to dissipate the gas, which was unable to seep through the frozen ground, officials said.

Residents, who sprawled out over the bus seats and tried to sleep during their seven hour exile, said they appreciated the temporary shelter but would have preferred a hotel.

"We’ve been on this bus for 7 hours," said Valerie Grant, 24, "Get us a hotel room, get us compensation. We’re all sitting here overnight."