Construction ruptures natural gas line in New Castle |

Construction ruptures natural gas line in New Castle

John ColsonPost Independent staffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

NEW CASTLE, Colorado – Construction equipment broke open a natural gas pipe near the east entrance to town Monday afternoon, prompting police to cordon off a half-block radius well into the evening.”I’m probably half a block away, and I can still smell it,” said Police Chief Chris Sadler at about 5 p.m., about two hours after the leak was reported at the Kum & Go convenience store along Highway 6.He said motorists were being rerouted to avoid the hazard, but that no one was being prevented from getting either to their homes or onto the I-70 exchange that connects the town directly to the interstate.He also said that no nearby homes or businesses, other than the Kum & Go, had been evacuated, although people were being told to stay away from the area while Xcel crews worked to plug the leak.There were no injuries or property damage as a result of the gas leak, according to New Castle Police.The danger of explosion was real, Saddler said: “If anybody caused a spark here right now, it’d get pretty exciting at this end of town.”Asked if he had installed huge “NO SMOKING” signs in the area, Sadler laughed in spite of his concern for the seriousness of the situation and declared, “There is no smoking around here right now.”Sadler said he was told a trackhoe digging machine was working in a small grassy area between the store and the highway when it hit a four-inch buried gas line.The machine was part of an ongoing expansion of the store’s fueling islands, Sadler said.In addition to the Xcel trucks that brought workers to the scene, Sadler said, there were several Burning Mountains Fire Protection District vehicles, troopers from the Colorado State Patrol and officers from the New Castle Police Department.At 8 p.m., police confirmed that the leak had been repaired and that all roads were open

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