Campground residents allowed back home after natural gas leak

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BETHLEHEM TWP., Ohio- Residents of the Springwood Lake Campground evacuated because of a natural gas leak early Thursday were allowed to return to their homes late in the day after crews repaired a 'nickel-sized' hole in the large gas pipe.

178 people were evacuated from the campground in Bethlehem Township after natural gas started bubbling up from the ground late Wednesday.

​Hazardous materials crews responded to the call at about 9:15 p.m. Wednesday, but a determination to evacuate the residents was not made until about 6 a.m.

Dominion East Ohio said the seven-mile long, 30" diameter line was a major supply line to the New Philadelphia area.

Although there were no injuries, no fire or explosion, the area was evacuated as a precaution.

Crews from the state and federal EPA were also at the camp on Thursday after oil,  a byproduct of the natural gas that flows through the line, seeped into an adjacent lake.

Dominion East Ohio Spokesman Neil Durbin said the leak itself had not migrated past the campground area and although residents in the area might have smelled the odor of natural gas during the repairs there was never any reason for panic.

​The company re-routed gas supply to the areas served by the pipe to avoid service disruptions.

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