Gas leak near Navy Yard Metro station prompts evacuations, rail service delays

Emergency crews worked to fix a gas leak near the Navy Yard Metro station on Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

A gas leak near the Navy Yard Metro station caused some nearby evacuations and rail service disruptions in the area Thursday afternoon, but emergency crews have since fixed the issue.

Just before 3:30 p.m., D.C. Fire and EMS said the leak was stopped and buildings were reoccupied in the 1200 block of Half Street Southeast.

Metro Green Line service has been restored between Anacostia and L’Enfant Plaza.

“What we found when we arrived is that a construction crew had breached a high-pressure gas line,” D.C. Fire spokesperson Vito Maggiolo told WTOP.

At one point, gas was “flowing freely,” Maggiolo said. Washington Gas also responded to the area for the leak.

D.C. Fire and EMS responded to a gas leak in the area of the Navy Yard Metro station on Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019. (Courtesy D.C. Fire and EMS)

Reporting from just outside the perimeter, WTOP’s Kate Ryan said the air had a “fairly strong odor of gas.”

The report of the gas leak came in sometime after 12:30 p.m. That prompted some nearby evacuations, including some high-rise buildings and a restaurant, as a measure of caution. They had a safety perimeter that went a block in all directions.

No injuries were reported, Maggiolo said. Firefighters were checking for the presence of gas in nearby buildings but got negative results.

Maggiolo said that an initial attempt by Washington Gas to stop the gas flow by shutting down a valve was unsuccessful, and that they were looking into digging the street to reach the line.

At one point, the Navy Yard Metro station’s Half Street entrance was closed. Shuttle buses were in use when rail service was suspended.

WTOP’s Kate Ryan contributed to this report from Washington, D.C. 

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