Ruptured gas line causes a little stink |

Ruptured gas line causes a little stink

Staff Report

A crew digging to find an underground gas service line at the new St. Stephen’s Catholic Church accidentally cut an eight-inch gash in the plastic pipe Wednesday afternoon, according to Glenwood Springs Fire Department captain Darryl Queen.

Pressurized gas spewed from the line into the area in the 1900 block of Blake Avenue.

The smell of mercaptin, the chemical added to natural gas to give it a recognizable odor, spread through the block, but firefighters decided not to evacuate students from St. Stephen’s Catholic School or workers from the office building across 20th Street into the rainy weather.

Queen said firefighters expanded the excavation hole and a worker from gas company Kinder Morgan went into the hole head first and clamped off the pipe.

Later, gas company workers reconnected the lines with a plastic fitting.

Queen said the crew, someone associated with the church, was using hand tools to search for the line, in advance of digging holes for piers to support an expanded canopy at the church entrance.

They didn’t ask the gas company to locate the line, Queen said.

Glenwood Springs Fire Chief Mike Piper said Kinder Morgan and other gas companies ask people to call for line locating service before digging.

Queen said the gas line gash was reported at 2:47 p.m., and firefighters arrived on scene at 2:55 p.m.

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