Gas line break causes evacuation in Sidney

A work crew in Sidney struck a gas line on 4th street on Friday, forcing the evacuation of a couple buildings

The break happened at around noon, and Sidney Fire arrived on the scene to help people get out of their residence and workplaces.

Sidney Fire Chief,  Brett Mikkelsen, says the break was close to the sidewalk, adjacent to a mix-used building with commercial and residential space.

He says the surrounding buildings were evacuated, and Fortis BC arrived on the scene about 40 minutes later.  Because Fortis crews don't work in a gas cloud for health and safety reasons, they excavated a part of the road down the street to clamp off the gas line.

"They have the detection equipment and know exactly where the lines run underneath the road.  So they found a spot across the street.  They dug up a small portion of the road quite quickly, the gas lines are only buried 24 to 36 inches below the surface, and managed to clamp it off safely and out of the gas cloud."

Mikkelsen adds that because the break happened over the noon hour, it didn't have much impact on people, asides from those who had to evacuate.

He goes on to say that Fortis BC is very good at responding to these situations, and also at prevention.  He says people should "Dial Before You Dig", to make sure no lines will be punctured.  If a gas line does break, he says get outside and 100 metres upwind from the break, and call the gas company right away.

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