Heritage Gas crews are still on scene to repair a natural gas line damaged by a construction crew in Halifax.
According to a release by the company, the line was hit near Almon Street and George Dauphinee Avenue at approximately 11:15 a.m. Thursday. The company said a construction crew working on George Dauphinee Avenue punctured the line, causing a gas leak.
Halifax Fire division commander Peter Andrews said in an email that the leak occurred when crews from Sackville Trenching used an excavator which hit a 1/2-inch service line while digging.
Fire services responded with five units including the HazMat team, safety officer and division commander.
“Upon arrival, crews observed a cloud of gas near the leak and assisted in the evacuation of residents,” Andrews wrote in the email, adding evacuation had first been initiated by Sackville Trenching.
Approximately 15 homes were evacuated on George Dauphinee and the end of Almon Street.
Chris MacAulay, vice-president engineering, construction and operations for Heritage Gas, said the homes were evacuated as a precaution.
“We found very little indication of natural gas anywhere but surrounding where the damaged line was but that’s really a precaution to move people out of the area to give the fire department and our personnel some secure area to do our work,” he said.
Crews are on scene, working with emergency responders to “control the incident site”. The gas was shut off at about 12:40 p.m. and repairs were underway.
Halifax police also blocked access to traffic along George Dauphinee, and at Almon and Connaught Avenue.
MacAulay said an investigation into the cause of the incident will be conducted and the company will report findings of the investigation to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board.
The line break also interrupted some work for Launcelot Bishop who was laying carpets in a unit in one of the residences evacuated when he was told to leave.
“Someone told the electrician and then the electrician told us and then everybody was out,” he said.
Residents have been allowed back into their homes and streets have been reopened. MacAulay said it should be a few hours until service is restored to the customers affected.
Andrews said no injuries had been reported.
Those residents and businesses in need of more information have been asked to call Heritage Gas at 1-866-313-3030.
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