Construction crew ruptures San Francisco gas main

AP News
Posted: Sep 21, 2011 8:01 PM
Construction crew ruptures San Francisco gas main

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. crews are repairing a gas line in downtown San Francisco that started leaking when construction workers hit the line.

The construction crew hit the 10-inch gas main at Mason and Post Streets around 2:15 p.m. Wednesday, fire officials said. San Francisco Public Utilities Commission spokeswoman Suzanne Gauthier said the crew cut through the asphalt into the unmarked gas line as they were trying to install a new water main.

San Francisco Fire Department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge says streets in the immediate area were shut down.

A PG&E crew was on the scene within minutes to begin making repairs, Talmadge said. PG&E spokesman Joe Molica said two buildings were evacuated, though Talmadge says one building was evacuated. Utility crews used manual valves to shut down the gas flow and were venting the escaped gas into the atmosphere.

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PG&E said the gas line was unmarked because the excavation was not supposed to take place until Thursday. They said they'll confirm all this as part of their investigation.

San Francisco firefighters are monitoring the leak as a precaution.

California Public Utilities Commission spokeswoman Terrie Prosper said the commission is looking into the incident.