UPMC hospital diverts patients for 2 hours after gas leak

A natural gas leak forced Erie, Pa.-based UPMC Hamot to divert patients to other hospitals and move emergency room patients to other parts of the facility, according to a Go Erie news report.

The gas leak, first reported around 6 p.m., resulted from a construction crew accidentally cutting a 10-inch natural gas line outside the entrance of the hospital's ER.

Patients in the ER at the time of the gas leak were moved to other parts of the hospital, and all emergency patients were sent to St. Vincent Hospital or Millcreek Community Hospital, both based in Erie.

"There was a smell of natural gas in the hospital, but it was nowhere near explosive limits," Fire Deputy Chief Mike Fahey told Go Erie. "We shut down their ventilation for about an hour and a half."

Some employees and patients wore masks, and some complained of light headaches.

Crews clamped the pipe around 8 p.m. Patients and staff returned to the ER shortly after.

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