Gas Line Ruptured At Busy Construction Zone - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/22/05

Gas Line Ruptured At Busy Construction Zone

Emergency crews have contained a gas leak in West Lubbock that sent Lubbock drivers on big detours near Sam's Club Warehouse. Construction crews working on the Marsha Sharp Freeway Project hit and ruptured an Atmos Energy gas line. Most of the West Loop and parts of the Brownfield Highway were closed.

Traffic along the West Loop was detoured for more than six hours to 34th, 50th and Milwaukee Avenue. What seemed to be a frustrating situation for many Lubbock drivers was a safety precaution. Crews were worried an ignition switch would spark a fire after what appeared to be a big mistake.

"Road construction crews out here at the Brownfield Highway and the West Loop were drilling into one of their peers and they drilled into a 16 inch natural gas line," explains Rhea Cooper from the Lubbock Fire Department. He says crews from Granite Construction Company were working on the Marsha sharp project when the rupture occurred. Their first priority: clearing the area. "Making sure we don't get any one inside the plume of natural gas that's coming out," he says.

For that, crews redirected all traffic on the West Loop. "There's no immediate threat because we've isolated the area. What you have to do is take out all ignition sources so we can't have vehicles traveling through that area," says Cooper.

No injuries occurred as a result of the ruptured gas line, no homes were affected. Though at least four businesses along Frankford Avenue lost gas. Crews are scheduled to resume work on the Marsha Sharp Project Wednesday morning.

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