Man stuck in cherry picker after truck threatens to ignite fumes from gas leak

South Bend, IN. - A series of separate gas leaks has been causing issues across Michiana for the past several days.

In South Bend alone, four pipes have been ruptured in less than a week. One of the latest happened tonight off of North Shore Drive and Leeper Avenue. Firefighters had to block off both roads while NIPSCO worked to repair the leak, causing a man to become stranded in the air in a cherry picker.


"So, once the truck got shut off I lost control of the operations of the boom," says Jason Yavorsky. 


The man was stuck in the air for about an hour. His crew was afraid to move him because they thought his truck might ignite the gas fumes. A electrical company was installing temporary power lines for some construction happening front of a nearby building, when crews accidentally hit a gas line.


With no power to lower the bucket to the ground, Yavorsky was forced to wait until it was safe to come down. Yavorsky says he didn't mind. He says he would rather be safe than sorry.


"As a precaution we shut the truck off to be safe. I figured I would hold tight. We waited for the fire department to show up, then NIPSCO showed up," say Yavorsky.


Firefighters say they did not want to take any chances, that is why they waited for NIPSCO to give the OK before they reopened the road and let Yavorsky come down.


NIPSCO officials on site say there could be a number of factors that led to today's rupture and the other recent gas leaks. Some include: markings being misread, markings washing away before construction starts, or simple that the gas line was missed when locators were on the site marking the area.

Share this article: