ROBBINSVILLE: Gas main forces evacuations

   ROBBINSVILLE — A gas main rupture last week at a Town Center home forced several residents to evacuate their homes while PSE&G fixed the broken line, according to information on the township Web site.
   A pool company hit a 2-inch gas main with a backhoe while excavating in the backyard of a Newtown Boulevard residence around 9:30 a.m. Aug. 31, according to the press release.
   The line apparently was not recorded on any plans or maps of the area and had not been flagged in preparation for the pool installment, the township reported.
   When the line ruptured, it began spouting gas, and the homeowner immediately called 9-1-1. The Police Department, Fire Department and First Aid Squad responded, as well as Mayor Dave Fried and Township Engineer Tim McGough, according to the press release.
   Seven homes in the vicinity were evacuated while the fire crews remained on-hand in case of any fires or explosions. The Groveville Fire Company, from Allentown, and Trenton Ladder No. 13 also were at the scene.
   Public Service Electric & Gas soon after arrived at the scene and was able to remedy the leak about four hours later, police said. Residents were allowed back into their homes only after PSE&G inspected the structures with gas meters and declared them safe, officials said.
   The mayor subsequently has directed Mr. McGough to continue investigating why the gas main was not labeled on any maps, the press release said. Mayor Fried also directed the engineer to work with the Sharbell Development Corp., which built Town Center, and PSE&G to determine if this is an isolated case and, if not, to take appropriate action.