Salem Fire Protection District Firemen stand by outside Salem Travel after a pickup truck ruptured the natural gas line after losing its brakes. Photo by Bruce Kropp.
An 18-year-old Salem man told Salem Police his brakes failed early Wednesday night when he hit the side of the Salem Travel Building in the 100 block of North Broadway causing a natural gas leak.
Jeremy Sloat of South Pearl told police he was traveling southbound on North Broadway when his brakes failed and he turned into the alley along the side of Salem Travel to avoid hitting a car in front of him. Once in the alley, he hit the building trying to avoid a parked car.
Salem Fire Chief Dave Duncan says there was concern about the natural gas getting into the Salem Travel and Hunter Law Office building.
“We were called to a natural gas leak. An automobile struck the gas meter behind the Salem Travel building in the alley and caused a substantial leak at the meter. We stood by while the gas company took care of the leak.”
Duncan says they also helped ventilate both buildings to make sure there was no gas buildup.
The Salem Travel Building itself did not appear to sustain any damage. Sloat’s pickup received some front end damage but drove the vehicle away.
The incident closed the 100 block of North Broadway for over an hour beginning at 6:17 Wednesday night.