U.S. 54 closed due to butane leak in Pratt County

Local

PRATT, Kan. (KSNW) – U.S. 54 in Pratt County is still closed because of a butane leak.

The call came out around 6:30 p.m. Sunday of a leak in a field about three miles east of Cullison or seven miles west of Pratt according to Pratt County Emergency Management coordinator Tim Branscom.

The Union Pacific Railroad tracks and U.S. 54 were shut down near the leak. Several homes near the leak were also evacuated overnight, but all homeowners are now cleared to return home.

“We evacuated approximately 22 residences, a lot of those north of the incident due to the way the wind was blowing,” said Branscom. “We knew the wind was going to shift directions this morning. We evacuated to the south as well.”

One person showed up at the municipal building in Pratt and was placed in a hotel by the Red Cross. Others stayed with friends or checked into hotels.

Branscom said power was shut off in the area.

“We turned off all the power about a 12 square miles area. We didn’t want any sparks coming from the houses and lines,” said Branscom.

Branscom said the line carrying butane was approximately 10 inches in diameter. Gas company officials immediately shut down the line from a remote location after discovering a pressure drop.

Right now, crews are working to make repairs. As for U.S. 54, traffic remains closed between Pratt and Greensburg.

For those locally traveling west of Pratt towards Cullison take SW 10th St. to West River Road then south to 20th St. Those traveling from the Cullison should take the reverse route.

Larger truck traffic heading west is being diverted north of Pratt on U.S. 281 to U.S. 50. Traffic heading east from Greensburg is being diverted on U.S. 183 to U.S. 160.

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