Gas leak in St. Paul evacuated hundreds from 12 businesses

A gas leak on the Central Corridor in St. Paul Thursday caused hundreds were evacuated from 12 buildings, road closed, and about 1,200 customers with no gas service.
Tom Hoento, Xcel Energy spokesperson, told the City Pages that Xcel Energy crews were working on a gas main along the Central Corridor in relation to the light rail construction. However, a cap on the end of the pipe came off and created "blowing gas".
The workers discovered the gas was blowing immediately. The odor of gas wafted in the air along University Avenue. The City Pages reported that the fire marshal evacuated 12 buildings near the corner of University and Snelling Avenues. The street also shut down. After the gas was shut off, about 1,200 customers had no gas service.
In this incident, no one was injured, but many were affected. According the Star Tribune, workers from the businesses waited in the parking lot, on a bus or some restaurants near the area. Also, some could not use their own car, so they took cabs home.
Babak Oskoui told the Start Tribune that he felt light-headed as he evacuated the Spruce Tree Center about 11 a.m. and Misty Becken said she was worried because she's pregnant.
Steve Roalstad, the other Xcel spokesman, told the Star Tribune that they were not sure how the cap came off and the investigation could take days to determine.
According the Star Tribune, some extra crews from Xcel went door to door of their customers to check appliances and then relight pilot lights.

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This page contains a single entry by yeun0040 published on March 27, 2011 11:10 PM.

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