Detroit/ Crime & Emergencies
AI Assisted Icon
Published on July 10, 2024
Taylor Community Shaken as Gas Leak Evacuation Exposes Infrastructure Concerns, Homeless Man Rescued from ManholeSource: Google Street View

A gas leak in Taylor, Michigan prompted emergency responses and forced evacuations of nearby businesses after a man believed to be homeless entered a manhole, causing a significant hazard. The incident occurred yesterday at the intersection of Telegraph and Van Born roads. Taylor Police Department, in coordination with local fire departments, responded to a call that initially baffled a 911 operator at 5:19 p.m., reporting the sight of a man descending into the underground space.

Upon arriving on the scene, officers faced the loud noise of gas escaping from the manhole, as reported by CBS News Detroit. The leak was significant enough to force the evacuation of adjacent buildings, including Walgreens and Burger King, as police noticed a strong smell of natural gas emitting from the area with an unconscious man inside. DTE crews were later able to repair the gas leak and security was restored to the area, per FOX 2 Detroit.

During the emergency, road closures disrupted typical rush hour commutes, with southbound Telegraph from just north of Van Born closed and northbound Telegraph at I-94, as detailed by the Detroit Free Press. With the road re-opened at around 9 p.m., Taylor Police lifted the heavy iron manhole cover over his head, promptly rescued the man, and transported him to the hospital for observation. Residents in the vicinity raised concerns about the incident, particularly those who were not evacuated and were unaware of the danger brewing beneath their feet.

Despite the evacuation of businesses, residents in the nearby area, like Wendy Stewart, only learned of the gas leak through a relative in Belleville, questioning the communication of risk to those living close. As per FOX 2 Detroit, Stewart expressed concern, "It’s a little concerning that we were not evacuated over here," especially since she has a mother-in-law "who does have a rare lung disease." Authorities stated that they cleared only the areas they deemed necessary as a precaution.