Collision causes natural gas leak in downtown Vernon

An SUV crashing into a gas meter caused a gas leak in downtown Vernon on Wednesday morning. Megan Turcato / Global News

A vehicle crashing into a gas meter behind a hardware store in downtown Vernon triggered a gas leak on Wednesday morning.

The collision happened in the ally behind Surplus Herby’s on 31 Avenue.

Police said the driver hit the gas meter while pulling out of a parking space.

READ MORE: Kelowna natural gas leak caused by tampering, possible theft of copper: FortisBC

Witness Evan Winkelaar said he came out of a nearby doctor’s office to find emergency crews had cordoned off the immediate area.

“It was really a lot of gas spewing out; we could hear it,” said Winkelaar.

FortisBC was called to Surplus Herby’s on Wednesday morning after an SUV collided with a gas meter behind the store. Megan Turcato / Global News

Winkelaar said he was originally told not to start his car, which was parked in the area, because of the gas leak.

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However, FortisBC said it would be a very unusual set of circumstances if turning on a car by a gas leak caused a problem.

READ MORE: Natural gas danger forces evacuations of two Kelowna condominium buildings

FortisBC said its crew was called in just before 10 a.m. and that a technician turned off the gas and had the gas leak under control an hour later.

The area is now considered safe, however a technician will remain on the scene until the vehicle is moved from the crash site to ensure there are no further issues.

Police said no Motor Vehicle Act charges were laid.

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