Michigan Gasoline Spill

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Thursday June 8 10:26 AM ET

Hundreds Evacuated After Michigan Gasoline Spill

BLACKMAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (Reuters) - Emergency workers battled on Thursday to clean up an underground gasoline spill north of Jackson in south-central Michigan, which forced the evacuation of hundreds of residents and business owners.

Authorities estimate 50,000-100,000 gallons of gasoline spilled when an underground pipeline broke, prompting Mich. Gov. John Engler to declare a state of emergency in the area.

Between 450-500 homes have been affected by the evacuation over a four-mile area, a spokeswoman for the Blackman Township public safety department said on Thursday. It could be 2-3 days before people are allowed to return to their homes.

The leak was first reported at 10:24 a.m. on Wednesday. The affected area is not far from Grand River, which is east of US-127 and runs parallel to the highway.

A Jackson company owns the pipeline but could not be reached for comment on the spill.

-- Rachel Gibson (rgibson@hotmail.com), June 08, 2000

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