A construction crew working on replacing city water lines struck a gas line that prompted an evacuation of Turlock neighborhoods Wednesday.
The crew was using an excavator to dig for water lines when a four inch natural gas line was punctured, according to the city. The incident was reported around 10 a.m. Wednesday and resulted in street closures and evacuations.
Emergency personnel from the Turlock Police and Turlock Fire departments evacuated the residents and businesses in the immediate area of E. Canal Drive, between N. Olive Avenue and E. Main Street, said Turlock Police spokesperson Officer Mayra Lewis. Denair Park also was evacuated and those residents and businesses within a four block radius of the site were told to shelter in place.
“Our public safety staff responded quickly to this event, making sure the surrounding neighborhood remained safe," said Turlock Mayor Gary Soiseth. “We are fortunate to have such a great team in place when incidents such as this arise.”
Pacific Gas and Electric crews from Modesto and Merced responded to the accident site and worked for about two hours to cap the leak.
The incident is under investigation by the city and PG&E, though it appears that the contractor was not at fault as the location of the gas line had been mismarked by the utility, according to the city.
The Turlock Fire Department dispatched three engine companies to the area, along with a battalion chief and two chief officers. The Red Cross responded to the scene to offer aid to emergency responders and the Turlock Rural Fire Department assisted with city coverage.