Part of Route 81 in Clinton has reopened after a propane leak Monday night, police said.
The road was closed for several hours in both directions from the entrance of the mall to Glenwood Road. Police said the leak is in front of the old Morgan High School.
Officials from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said a contractor at the site of the old high school where a Big Y is being built struck a buried, abandoned propane tank around 9 a.m., placed a plastic pipe into the top of the tank to direct the propane away from the road and then covered it in dirt. They did not contact authorities, according to DEEP.
Around 6 p.m. a neighbor smelled propane and called the Clinton Fire Department, so firefighters, and DEEP staff from the Emergency Response and Spill Prevention Division responded and dug out the propane tank.
The tank was too badly damaged to burn off the propane, which is the standard procedure, according to DEEP, so they used water to displace the propane, venting it into the atmosphere.
Route 81 was closed while the propane was being vented as a precaution. DEEP said there was constant metering to ensure there was no danger to nearby properties and residents and they finished around 11:30 p.m.
The local fire marshal will investigate, according to DEEP.