BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Parts of downtown Towson were at a standstill Thursday morning after a gas main break outside the circuit court building.
Dozens of people had to evacuate, after the gas odor seeped into halls and chambers in the courthouse.
“We could smell the gas in the office. It was a really strong smell, so we had to evacuate,” said Kia Henson, paralegal at the Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Fire crews were called at around 10 a.m. to Bosley and Chesapeake avenues.
“When they arrived, they found a contractor had struck what we believe to be a 1.5 inch gas main, and gas was pouring out of the street,” said Tim Rostkowski, Baltimore County Fire Department.
Officers were forced to shut down the road in both directions, paralyzing traffic, while emergency crews tested the nearby buildings for toxic levels of gas.
“The traffic is crazy. Everyone is trying to figure out where to go,” said Dawn Weyforth, works nearby.
Even buildings that were not evacuated were affected by the gas main break.
“Some people have not come to work yet today because they can’t get here,” said Jeffrey Meliker, works nearby.
Things weren’t any better for those who did show up. They waited outside the courthouse for more than two hours.
“I think people are getting a little restless because we didn’t know the severity of it,” said Mike Martin, evacuated from courthouse.
Dozens of people packed the courtyard after having to evacuate the courthouse. The gas main break paralyzed traffic, waiting for more than two hours after the building evacuation.
“I think people are getting a little restless because we didn’t know the severity of it,” said Mike Martin, who evacuated the courthouse.
Michael Metalios works nearby. He tells WJZ crews have been in the area patching the streets.
“They just started work again over the past week on the road. I assume someone hit something. It has happened before,” he said.
No one was injured because of the gas main break.
The roads and courthouse have since been reopened. The gas levels were not hazardous.