Fresno County business evacuated due to gas leak

July 23, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The gas leak happened Tuesday morning at Manning and Buttonwillow near Reedley.

Manning Avenue was closed down and two buildings were evacuated Tuesday morning because of the gas leak at Thiele Technologies. The road has since reopened, and workers are being allowed back into one of the buildings after Southern California Edison capped the leaking pipe.

Just before 7 a.m. Tuesday, the Reedley Fire department says about 130 workers evacuated the property after a company installing a sprinkler system hit a 2.5 inch gas line -- causing it to rupture.

Battalion Chief Tim Garrison said when he arrived, he could smell a strong gas odor coming from the area -- but the company's on-site safety team had already evacuated the two buildings.

Garrison said since the wind was blowing the gas into a nearby farm field, one building on the property will remain under evacuation for the rest of the day. No other businesses were affected.

"It took them about two hours to finally mitigate that leak. About two hours, 9 o'clock, it opened back up for business," said Garrison.

Garrison said the company installing the sprinkler system did not call the 811 number to get permission to dig -- so they could be held financially responsible for the gas leak, the response, and the impact to the business.


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