Three Transported to Hospital Following Fort Lauderdale Gas Leak: Authorities

Authorities said the four-inch line supplies natural gas to the courthouse and the jail.

Wednesday, Dec 12, 2012  |  Updated 11:50 AM EDT
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Employees and customers of the Broward County Courthouse react to the gas leak Wednesday morning.

Employees and customers of the Broward County Courthouse react to the gas leak Wednesday morning.

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A HazMat team secured a natural gas leak at the construction site of the new Broward County Courthouse Wednesday morning after a line was ruptured by machinery, authorities said.

The leak, which happened at 201 SE 6th St., sent three people complaining of nausea and vomiting to the hospital, according to Fort Lauderdale Fire spokesman Matt Little.

Traffic around the site was redirected and dozens of construction workers were evacuated from the area. Hundreds of Broward County Courthouse employees said they were also told to evacuate.

"Everybody was freaking out and everybody is ready to leave," said Jennifer Keefe, who said she smelled gas in the elevators.

Employees standing outside of the courthouse told NBC 6 South Florida the building was closed for the day.

"I had a guy getting ready to get out of jail this morning hopefully, and now he's stuck again, so we'll see," said attorney Bill Cone.

But a man next to him said he was happy for the closure.

"I was running late, so I would've got in trouble with the judge," Dwayne Grant said as he laughed.

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The three people were transported to Broward Health as a precaution, according to authorities. Firefighters checked thenearby Broward County Jail to ensure there was no danger inside.

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Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue said the gas quickly dissipated and construction workers returned to the job site. An energy company turned off the gas supply and is expected to make the repair by the end of the day.

Authorities said the four-inch line supplies natural gas to the courthouse and the jail.

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