Sergeant Bill McCurdy says the gas leak was caused by a construction accident. “The big end front end loader accidentally backed over a four-inch gas line causing a pretty major leak in the area.”
Around 7 a.m. Thursday morning a construction worker with Anderson Columbia hit and ruptured a gas line spewing fumes in the air. The Panama City Police and Fire responded and immediately blocked off the site at Beck Avenue and 13th about 100 yards in each direction, bringing morning traffic to a halt.
Authorities with Teco Natural Gas say residents have no reason to be concerned and its crews will be responsible for ensuring they get gas back as soon as possible. Beck Avenue cafe caters to the construction workers and Thursday they had to close its doors.
Joseph Miller, a spokesman for the family business says no gas meant no food.
"The construction workers are going hungry today. They're in here every day for their lunch and all the other customers that come in here from all around here,” said Joseph.
Miller says turning away hungry customers is not exactly good for its business.
"Due to the gas pipe being ruptured we've not had any gas to cook the food for them. Being a small family business, we lost quite a lot."
Anderson construction workers did get back to business across the street while Teco workers tried to repair the broken gas line as quickly as possible. Gas should be back on sometime Thursday night or Friday morning for the areas affected.