NILES -- City officials continue to investigate the cause of the leak in the 4-inch gas main on U.S. Route 422 on Wednesday.
The rupture caused the highway to be closed to traffic until about 3:15 p.m., and businesses in Niles Park Plaza and further north on the road to Route 46 were closed and evacuated.
Niles Superintendent of Light Jimmy Newbrough said this week that workers for Joe Dickey Electric of North Lima were excavating to reach Niles Electric Department conduits to upgrade the 40-year-old wiring there. Replacing the wiring is part of a continuing upgrade of wiring in the city, according to Tom Telego, director of Emergency Management.
Neil Durbin, a spokesman for Dominion-East Ohio Gas, said his company received a call about the break at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday and crews turned off the gas for the area's approximately 60 customers by 2:39 p.m.
As of Thursday morning, service to all but six of the 60 customers was restored.
Durbin said he doesn't know if anyone from the excavators called the "Call before you dig" line, but he did say the line was marked to warn potential diggers.
An employee who answered the phone at Dickey Electric disputed whether the line was marked correctly, but attempts to reach company executives for further comment were unsuccessful.