A drilling accident led to the evacuation of half of the Boulevard Mall, on Friday, during one of the shopping center's busiest hours. WBFO's Avery Schneider went to the scene, and brings us this report.
The food court was in the midst of the high traffic lunch hour when people inside began smelling gas. Mall security began calmly evacuating shoppers from the southern half of the mall and called in the fire department.
The fumes came from a punctured low-pressure gas line, according to Eggertsville Fire Chief, Brian Multerer. His and three other local departments responded to the scene, where SJB Services - a Hamburg, New York based drilling company - were digging. Multerer was uncertain of what the project was, but says reports indicated that the company did follow proper procedures before drilling...
"The story we're getting is that they did call, so at this point we don't know if it was mis-marked or something else. We just don't know. It's still under investigation what happened at that point," said Multerer.
SJB Services was contacted by WBFO, but was unavailable for comment on their work at the mall. Maintenance teams from National Fuel responded to the scene and immediately began work to seal off the gas line. No one reported any illness from the fumes, and as of 5 o'clock on Friday, the Boulevard tweeted that the food court was re-opened.