Gas Main Break Forces Building Evacuations on East 111th Street

By Nicole Bode | June 14, 2011 2:01pm | Updated on June 14, 2011 3:03pm

By Jeff Mays and Nicole Bode

DNAinfo Senior Editor

EAST HARLEM — Around 100 people had to be evacuated from their buildings on East 111th Street Tuesday afternoon after a gas main break sent a strong odor into neighboring buildings, fire officials said.

Contractors from a private construction crews working near 152 E. 111th St. near Lexington struck a gas main beneath the street around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, prompting the evacuation of eight neighboring buildings, fire officials and ConEd said.

The crews were not working for ConEd, and it was not immediately clear what construction company they were working for. ConEd crews rushed to the scene to begin excavating the street in search of the broken gas main portion, a ConEd spokeswoman said.

FDNY crews closed off Lexington Avenue from East 112th Street and remained on the scene until the gas main could be shut down, they said.

People were allowed to return to their buildings around 2:30 p.m.