City truck hits gas meter, forces evacuation

Thursday, May 20, 2021
A Eureka Springs public works vehicle crashed into a gas meter and a home on Pine Street Tuesday morning. No injuries were reported in the accident, which led to the evacuation of of the immediate area. Residents were allowed to return after a few hours.
Photo courtesy of Jay Wilks

Residents of Pine Street were evacuated from their homes Tuesday morning after a public works truck hit a gas meter.

Eureka Springs firefighter Shane Stanley said the truck rolled down the hill, took out the gas meter and ran into a house. There were no injuries, Stanley said, but everyone was evacuated until the gas line could be repaired.

“It just took a little bit to get the truck off the gas meter and do it safely, and the gas company came to shut it off,” Stanley said.

Ryan Thomas, a dispatcher with the Eureka Springs Police Department, said officers were dispatched to the accident at 8:10 a.m.

“It was almost four hours that they were out there,” Thomas said. “It was a long one.”

Along with the police, Stanley said, the fire department responded with a fire engine and a few ambulances to keep everyone safe.

“That could have gotten out of hand real quick, but everyone was nice and safe,” Stanley said. “A lot of times with a gas leak, we have to start evacuating the area immediately. We don’t want people driving down the street. We rely on those police officers to secure the scene.”

Jesse Amussen, an employee at Brews, said many of the neighbors and their pets spent the morning at the coffee shop. Amussen said there were four or five dogs inside Brews at one time. Police officers returned to the neighbors’ homes to gather items they needed such as medications, Amussen said.

“We’re just a super tight-knit community. People came in with their pajamas on,” Amussen said. “The officers were really helpful. It was a good show of community.”

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