Severed gas main downtown injures one worker, causes massive evacuation

Victoria Fire crews responded to a report of fire spewing from a severed gas line on top of a building at 735 Broughton just before noon Wednesday.

Batallion Chief Wayne Moody says an estimated 1,000 people were evacuated from government office buildings and the downtown library. after a construction worker accidentally cut throught the line:

"There's a bunch of workers on site doing a large renovation. And I guess there was a miscommunication amongst the workers about whether or not a gas line was charged or not, still pressurized. So one of the workers cut through the line and caused an explosion, followed by basically a large blow torch up on the roof. Basically like an 8-foot long stream of fire."

The worker was treated on scene by fire crews, then transported to hospital.

"We did some medical attention to him on scene by one of our firefighters, and called the ambulance who then took care of him and then subsequently brought  him to hospital for observation. It appeared he suffered some superficial burns to his face, but he would definitely have also inhaled some super-heated gases at a minimum."

Moody says the incident could have been much worse -- but crews managed to contain the damage to a small area.

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