Bonham gas leak forces evacuations, detours
BONHAM, Texas (KTEN) — A major highway was closed to traffic and evacuations were ordered in Bonham Tuesday morning after a natural gas leak.
Bonham firefighters said a construction crew hit a high pressure gas line at the intersection of State Highway 121 and West Russell Avenue shortly after 7 a.m.
"It's a little scary," said Kayla Starnes, a medication supervisor at the Wesley House senior living center. "I mean, at the assisted living we are responsible for several residents."
Three businesses — including the Bonham Walmart — were evacuated and traffic on Highway 121 was detoured as Atmos Energy employees worked to shut down the pipeline.
"Any time there's a pipeline leak of any kind, we've got to take precautions," said Bonham police Chief Andrew Hawkes. "Because of the natural gases spewing out in the air, we want to make sure we get everyone out of the area."
The gas was turned off around 10 a.m., the evacuation order was lifted, and regular traffic resumed in Bonham.
Starnes said the end of the three-hour ordeal came as a relief for residents and staff at the Wesley House.
"It was very scary for them," she said. "We just, of course, made sure that we were sheltered in place like we were told by EMTs and firemen, that we just needed to keep everybody indoors."