ROCKLAND — A propane line was accidentally cut late Tuesday morning, June 28, creating a leak that led to the evacuation of adjacent businesses.

The leak also led to public safety crews blocking Main Street, north of Summer Street, with traffic being rerouted starting at about 11 a.m.

The line between the two propane tanks serving the Granite Inn was inadvertently cut by a worker trimming the bushes in back of the inn.

Rockland Fire Chief Chris Whytock said when he arrived, he could hear the gas coming out of the tank from halfway down Granite Street where he parked his truck. There was also a haze of gas in the air by the inn, he said.

Fire crews shut off the gas and poured water to dissipate the gas and prevent it from igniting which could have led to an explosion. The chief said there was only a slight breeze which was not enough to dissipate the gas.

There was no gas detected inside the inn.

The Granite Inn and neighboring Verizon Wireless store were evacuated as were houses in back of the inn. At the same time the road was blocked, vehicles were being let off a Maine State Ferry. The ferry terminal is located across from the Granite Inn.

Fire crews from Rockport also responded. Thomaston and South Thomaston responded to a fire alarm call at the Farnsworth Art Museum that came in shortly after the gas leak.

Maritime Energy responded, replaced the line that had been cut, and checked for any other leaks.

The final crews from Rockland left the Granite Street scene shortly after noon, allowing regular traffic to resume on Main Street.

Chief Whytock expressed concern about motorists who ignored the situation and tried to drive by close to trucks and firefighters. He said people need to be more patient and slow down.

Photo by Stephen Betts