Gas leak forces some Gustine evacuations

mnorth@mercedsunstar.comJanuary 10, 2013 

— More than 20 people were forced to flee their homes Wednesday morning after a natural gas line was ruptured.

Gustine Public Works employees accidentally ruptured the pipeline while working on underground utilities in front of Gustine Garden Apartments at 394 Wallis Ave., according to Sgt. Jim Hamera of the Gustine Police Department.

A portion of that complex, along with two houses, were evacuated, but residents were allowed to return to their homes around 3 p.m. when authorities determined the leak didn't pose a threat.

The leak was stopped and natural gas service was restored by 8:15 p.m., according to Hamera.

Chief Doug Dunford said there were no injuries during the leak, which started when public works employees were trying to excavate a water pipeline and struck the 2-inch gas line. Police, fire and public works all responded.

Reporter Mike North can be reached at (209) 385-2453 or mnorth@mercedsunstar.com.

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