Route 16 between Hillsboro and Litchfield was closed for two and a half hours on Tuesday, Feb. 4, when a drilling company came into contact with a gas line.
Four members of the Litchfield Fire Department responded at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday to a report of a natural gas leak on the south side of Illinois Route 16, west of Old Quarry Trail in Litchfield.
Firefighters could hear and smell gas escaping from the substantial leak. Ameren Illinois was called to the scene, where they notified additional personnel to assist with isolating and repairing the leak.
Traffic was controlled by law enforcement, where they rerouted drivers until the leak could be contained. Police continued to the east to block the roadway at Old Quarry Trail, closing IL Rt. 16 from Yaeger Lake Trail for the duration of the leak.
For safety measures, a hose line was opened, and monitoring devices were set up to watch the leak.
Mutual aid from Gillespie Ambulance and Mt. Olive Fire Department covered the Litchfield Fire Station while members were on the scene. The Litchfield Fire Department, Illinois State Police, Montgomery County Sheriff's deputies and Montgomery County EMA also assisted during the leak.
Crews created a safe zone around the incident until Ameren Illinois arrived and stopped the flow of gas from the line.
Due to the location of the gas leak, there was no need to evacuate residents, and there was no interruption of gas service to the city of Litchfield.
After all fire units cleared the scene and the roadway was reopened just after 1 p.m., Ameren remained on the scene to repair the gas line.