UPDATE: Power has been restored to at least part of the area near the shopping center as of 8:20 p.m. The Lower Saucon Township Police Department has also issued an alert stating that the “gas leak…is under control.”
A report of a possible natural gas leak at a store in the Creekside Marketplace (Giant) shopping center in Lower Saucon Township led authorities to evacuate and cut power to numerous stores as well as nearby homes Wednesday evening, eyewitnesses reported.
According to the PPL outage center map, as of 7:45 p.m., 319 customers were affected by the power outage that was requested by UGI. Power is estimated to be restored by 10:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Photos taken at the scene show numerous police, fire and emergency vehicles in the shopping center parking lot, which is on Rt. 412 (Leithsville Road) in the township, just south of Hellertown borough.
Ambulances were also reportedly on standby at the scene.
An eyewitness said shoppers were unable to leave the center as of about 7:25 p.m., because they were not allowed to start their vehicles due to the possible presence of natural gas in the air. The witness said she was later able to leave after it was determined that it was safe to do so, but vehicles weren’t allowed to enter the parking lot.
There have been no reports of injuries received as of this story’s publication.
Disclaimer: Please note that this story is about a breaking news situation, and details may change as additional facts become known.
Photos by June Rose