These are the NC teens who discovered the Colonial Pipeline leak


HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)- The two teens who discovered a massive gas leak in Huntersville got the recognition they deserved Monday night.

Back on Aug. 14, 2020, the boys found the leak that had sprung from a crack in the Colonial Pipeline, where an estimated 1.2 million gallons of gas spilled right in a Huntersville neighborhood.

They did not expect that what they found seven months ago would lead to what is now the biggest gas leak in state history.

“We asked his parents if we could go over on the gas line and they said ‘no,’” Walker Sell said.

Walker and his friend Owen Fehr were over at Owen’s and had just gone out on an ATV ride without permission. They came across a smell of gas, so much so, it was overwhelming.

“At that point, this isn’t normal,” Owen said.

That led to a 911 call that eventually led to all this work that’s been seen out on Huntersville-Concord Road over the last seven months. It’s not lost on anyone that the actions of these two was actually the right thing.

“It could be much worse if it wasn’t for you and the economic impact on our citizens would’ve been that much worse,” Huntersville mayor John Aneralla said

The two were honored with the key to the city and an official ‘thank you’ from Mayor Aneralla. Aneralla’s comments, though, are not exaggeration.

Colonial Pipeline says a plane flying over the pipeline path just days before it was discovered didn’t show any leak. However long it was there, authorities believe more than one million gallons got out. It would’ve been more if it wasn’t discovered when it was. Work is still continuing at the site.

“It’s just crazy to drive by and see all the trucks and people, and we found that,” Owen said.

It may have started with a ride to where they weren’t supposed to go, but they now say their parents weren’t mad at them for it.

“Well we called 911. I thought that maybe we could get in trouble, but this was a little more important,” Walker said.

Commissioners did provide a bit of an update on the leak tonight, too. One of the commissioners recently went out to the site where the amount of gas that has been recovered so far is now at 800,000 gallons.

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