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Major Streets In The Loop Shut Down After Gas Leak Wednesday

By David Matthews | June 14, 2016 1:10pm | Updated on June 15, 2016 8:46am
 Two of the Loop's busiest streets were shut down Tuesday afternoon after construction crews hit a gas line. 
Gas Leak Shuts Down Major Streets In The Loop
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THE LOOP — A gas leak led emergency responders to shut down several busy Loop intersections Tuesday afternoon, bewildering shoppers and jamming up traffic throughout Downtown. 

No injuries were reported during the leak, which occurred after construction crews hit a gas line while replacing water mains at State and Randolph streets. 

Emergency responders first arrived to State and Madison streets on the call of a possible explosion there at about 1 p.m. Police and firefighters then concluded that the Randolph gas leak spread to Madison Street, where a manhole cover was blown off. 

Responders then shut down State Street from roughly Lake to Monroe streets, and Randolph from Dearborn to Wabash as they addressed the leak. But the streets were still closed at 5 p.m., complicating many commutes home.

Many people walking out of the nearby Block 37 shopping mall, L stops, or Macy's were bewildered by the street closures and number of fire trucks and other vehicles parked on State Street. Some even thought the closure was due to a TV shoot, and others took the opportunity to take their picture in front of the Chicago Theatre while standing where traffic would normally be. 

Red Line trains were delayed by the leak, but still accessible via Pedway. Bus routes on State Street were detoured. 

On Randolph, theater-goers were concerned the gas leak would cancel their showing of "The Spongebob Musical" playing at the Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St. 

One pedestrian wisecracked to police on the scene that they should check out City Hall.

"There's a lot of gas coming out of there," he said. 

The roadwork on Randolph Street that led to the leak began last month and is expected to last till late July. 

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