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Search continues for source of gasoline leak

By Angela Yingling
Published On: Apr 16 2013 03:27:06 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 16 2013 08:00:00 PM CDT

A gasoline leak in downtown Marion, Virginia displaces some businesses while crews continue to search for the cause. 

SMYTH COUNTY, Va. -

A gasoline leak in downtown Marion, Virginia displaces some businesses while crews continue to search for the cause.

The students at Prudence Child Care are having class in a church basement Tuesday, because their normal location is closed due to fumes from a gasoline leak. "It's a little difficult because you have all of your tools and manipulatives over there, but we're making do," says Executive Director Lance Turner.

It is just one of several businesses in downtown Marion asked to evacuate because of the leak.

It started Monday morning when someone reported a strong smell of gasoline; now crews are working to find out how the gas is spilling into the sanitary sewer system. "We have no idea how much is in the sewer system. We’ve taken several different test levels. We can tell it is a significant amount because of the level of fumes," says Smyth County Emergency Managment Coordinator Charles Harrington.

Special teams have been called in to investigate and they're testing the tanks at two area gas stations. "That possibility exists. We certainly haven't ruled it out, but at this point we can't positively say that's where it's coming from," adds Harrington.

Harrington says the leak is not posing a threat to the residents of Smyth County. "It is an environmental emergency, but it's not something that would be anticipated to be explosive," he said.

Smyth County residents are being asked to report any strong odor of gasoline to the Smyth County Sheriff's Office at (276) 783-7204.