The residents of a home in the 300 block of Wabash Ave. were briefly
evacuated on Monday, after a utility crew working in the front yard struck
an abandoned natural-gas lateral.
Then, in making repairs on the lateral, a NIPSCO crew discovered a leak in a
main valve one block to the west and worked all night Tuesday to make that
The incident began at 10:02 a.m. Monday, when an Indiana American Water
Company (IAWC) crew working on a water service in the 300 block of Wabash
Ave. hit and breached a natural-gas lateral, Chesterton Fire Chief Mike
Orlich told the Chesterton Tribune today. IAWC had done its locates
prior to excavation but apparently there was no record of the steel gas
lateral, which had been plugged on the residence side but not at the main,
The gas lateral was probably at least half a century old, Orlich noted.
The breach in the lateral occurred only 10 to 12 feet from the home’s front
door and the prevailing wind was blowing the escaping gas toward the house,
prompting the NIPSCO staff who arrived quickly at the scene to evacuate its
residents, Orlich said.
The CFD also responded to the scene and remained there until 11:15 a.m.
NIPSCO, meanwhile, was forced to close that stretch of Wabash Ave. for much
of Monday afternoon to repair the breach.
While making that repair, however, the NIPSCO crew discovered a leak in a
main valve in the 400 block of Wabash Ave., Street Commissioner John
Schnadenberg told the Tribune. The crew began working on that leak on
Tuesday and—“rather than leave the site open overnight,” he said—opted to
work all night Tuesday.
The crew was finishing the job early this morning.