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Gas leak forces evacuation at National Airport

gas leak from last August

February 23, 1997
Web posted at: 10:30 p.m. EST

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A gas leak at National Airport in Washington Sunday evening forced evacuation of the main terminal, lobby and air traffic control tower for about 45 minutes.

The leak was discovered at about 5:30 p.m., and the terminal was ordered evacuated from about 6:15 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The control tower is located above the main terminal, and the evacuation forced six inbound flights to divert to nearby Dulles Airport.

Delta Air Lines canceled three of its shuttle flights to New York City as a result of the evacuation. The reservation desks of three airlines -- TWA, Air Canada and United Airlines -- also were evacuated.

After about 45 minutes, people were allowed back into the facility and flight operations resumed. No one was reported injured.

Washington Gas personnel turned off the gas and were trying to find the source of the fumes. A trash can that had an odor of gas was sealed off and taken off the premises for examination.


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