Emergency gas leak closes Main Street as car crashes into building shearing off gas meter

Joplin News First

Joplin Police Department tell us that this vehicle crashed into this building and sheared off a gas meter.  The loud hissing you hear in our live video is gas escaping from an open line.  

The building that was struck is 1409 South Main, Joplin Pawn and Purchase.  They were open at the time.  No one was injured seriously inside the building requiring medical attention but it did knock an employee to the ground. 

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A lady I heard with a health condition ran into The front corner of the Pawn shop and it is Gone. We are all safe with some minor injuries. I was sitting next to the window, Mark Farmer of Joplin Pawn and Purchase.  He goes on to mention they are closed till further notice as they figure out repairs.  

This became a dilemma for emergency response agencies.  Joplin Fire Department placed themselves upwind and prepared with water.  We talked with Joplin Fire Chief James Furgerson, and he reminded us, gas has a different weight than water and air.  They had hoses prepped and ready with water in case they needed to separate the layers of air and gas if they ignited.  

We recently saw a traffic crash where a gas meter was hit on the night of March 30 during a DWI campaign. That night the leaking gas ignited. 

4th and Michigan the driver was pulled from the vehicle as the gas became ignited. The fire department dissipated the gas and fire with water in a huge display of flames.

Friday morning Joplin Police blocked off the area: North to South, 13th to 16th and East to West, S Pennsylvania to S Joplin.  

Spire Gas arrived it was determined the meter was cut too far to the ground.  So other utilities were visible in the street and began to mark their lines, you see Missouri American Water arrive in our video.  

Heavy equipment arrived and dug up Main Street directly West of the broken gas meter.  It took about 75 minutes from the initial crash and the line was capped off. The leaking gas never ignited.  

The single female driver was not transported to a hospital.  We have reached out to the Joplin Police Department for official information regarding the crash.  And possible involvement of other vehicles.  

UPDATE ON CRASH: According to the Joplin Police Department the female driver was traveling southbound on South Main.  She struck two parked cars along the 1200 block of Main and then struck a building in the 1400 block of South Main.  The female driver has a history of medical issues.  She was injured in the crash however chose to be transported POV, privately owned vehicle, instead of ambulance.

Look for traffic delays for the rest of the day on Friday in the area of 1400 South Main Street as the road will be repaired.  

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