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Natural gas leak shuts down busy downtown Saskatoon intersection

Saskatoon firefighters said they noticed the smell of natural gas at the intersection of Idylwyld Drive and 22nd Street on July 29, 2019, while returning from a call. File / Global News

A leaking SaskEnergy isolation valve forced the closure of a busy downtown Saskatoon intersection for nearly three hours on Monday evening.

A Saskatoon Fire Department engine company was returning from a call just after 8:30 p.m. when crews they said they noticed the smell of natural gas at the intersection of Idylwyld Drive and 22nd Street.

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They investigated and said they heard gas leaking from a gas valve cover. Another crew was called in and they used gas detection equipment to determine there was a high concentration of natural gas in the area.

Fire officials said they then closed off the intersection and the surrounding area to ensure public safety.

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SaskEnergy said crews performed maintenance work on the isolation valve to resolve the problem and will replace it if any other issues arise over the next couple of days.

“In this instance the odourant we add to our gas worked as designed, as a fire crew driving through the in intersection noticed the smell and called us,” said a SaskEnergy spokesperson.

SaskEnergy said they use isolation valves during system maintenance or emergency work to shut off natural gas to a portion of the system in the area.

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