Allegan County News & Union Enterprise

Gas leak causes school closings, evacuations

Plainwell schools were forced to close and some Plainwell residents were evacuated from their homes after a car accident damaged a gas main early Monday, Oct. 17.
Plainwell Public Safety officers and firefighters were dispatched to the area of Starr Road (102nd) and Main Street after an area resident called 911 to report hearing a loud crash and then a loud hissing noise at approximately 2 a.m.
Investigators determined a 32-year-old Kalamazoo man driving northbound on Main Street left the roadway near Starr Road. The vehicle continued through a grassy area, struck a sign and a gas main, then continued down into the bank of the river.
Michigan Gas was contacted for the gas leak. Residents within a two-block radius were evacuated and Plainwell Community Schools cancelled classes for the day.
Residents were allowed to return to their homes around 10 a.m., with Plainwell schools holding after-school activities as planned. Anyone smelling gas was asked to contact Michigan Gas immediately.
With Plainwell Public Safety Officers handling the gas main emergency and evacuation, the Allegan County Sheriff’s Office took over the accident investigation. Initial findings suggest alcohol was a factor in the crash. 
The driver of the vehicle was able to exit the vehicle on his own and was examined by emergency personnel on scene.
Allegan County Sheriff’s Office, Allegan County Emergency Management, Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office, Otsego Police and Fire Departments, Gun Plain Fire Department, Brock’s Towing, Michigan Gas and Plainwell EMS ambulance assisted Plainwell Public Safety.

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