EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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August 6, 2013

Gas leak in Salem disrupts traffic

SALEM — A gas leak is disrupting traffic at this hour around Interstate 93 Exit 2.

Fire Chief Kevin Breen said firefighters are on scene and Pelham Road is closed to through traffic.

Some highway ramps at the interchange are shut, but I-93 remains open.

Breen said a construction backhoe struck a 6-inch gas line west of the highway, causing the gas leak.

There were no explosions or injuries, the chief said.

Firefighters are on scene.

"They are concentrating on keeping everybody safe," Breen said.

They were waiting for the gas company, Unitil, to respond and expected Pelham Road could be closed until at least 4 p.m.

The neighborhood is a commercial area, so there weren't homeowners to cause concern. The department was fielding calls from people worried about the odor of gas in the vicinity of a nearby daycare center.

"People are safe if they stay indoors," Breen said.

Windham firefighters were responding and had been directed to the daycare center.

Fire officials also were working with N.H. state police.

Drivers could expect delays.

"Pay attention to message sign boards," Breen advised drivers. "Be patient."

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