Rock Island Gas Leak Forces Evacuations - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Rock Island Gas Leak Forces Evacuations

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A gas leak forces more than 100 people to evacuate in downtown Rock Island. Rock Island public works crews accidentally ruptured a gas line Monday morning while they were doing routine maintenance right outside of City Hall. People at City Hall, Royal Neighbors of America and the YWCA were all forced to evacuate for about an hour as a safety precaution.

Those who work at Royal Neighbors were sent home until 1:00 in the afternoon. Meanwhile, many City Hall workers went to local businesses to kill time. The kids at YWCA were taken to the Holiday Inn, putting their fire drill practices to use for the very first time.

"We were actually outside and smelled the gas leak," said YWCA CEO Julie Larson.

Larson, says the stench of gas instantly sent her into emergency mode.

"It was a very scary few moments."

She says even though the daycare practices a fire drill every month, this is the first time her staff has actually had to evacuate kids in a real emergency situation. The kids range in age from newborn to five years old.

"We were all pushing strollers and cribs to get the kids over here, very quickly. Had to grab some food, formula, and diapers."

 Larson says while evacuating 75 small children and even cribs is no easy task, things went very smooth.

"Our first objective was to get the kids out of the building and thanks to our monthly fire drills and evacuation, the staff was able to get the kids out very quickly and we got right up to the Holiday Inn and things worked out very well."

She says the situation puts into perspective just how important frequent fire drills are.

"When something happens there might not be a lot of time to get out the building. I am very proud of my staff."

 Mid-American Energy was able to repair the gas leak and everyone was allowed to return to their buildings.

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