300+ residents without power after Bakersfield gas leak causes fire

Small area of street still closed for clean-up

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Pacific Gas and Electric company employees have successfully contained a gas line that was ruptured by a worker that sent flames into the sky this morning.

Officials said that at about 8:30 a.m., on Monday, the operator of an asphalt road grinder was working in the area of Monte Vista and Alta Vista drives when the operator hit a gas line.

The three-inch steel gas line that was about six inches below the asphalt was hit, causing PG&E crews to dig at least five feet down. A Bakersfield Fire Department spokesman said the gas line took longer to fix because it was made of steel. 

At least 300 residents were left without power during this incident and PG&E hopes to have power restored for those residents by tonight.

Officials said most of Alta Vista is opened up, however, the area where the truck caught on fire near Linden remains closed while the incident continues to be cleaned.

No injuries were reported.

Road crews had been working on that project since last fall, but temporarily stopped work in November to allow utility crews to lower their lines.

Utility companies said Mondays incident is a good reminder that construction crews need to check with them first before digging begins.
PG&E said it is extremely important to call 811 before any construction crews hit the ground.

"To make sure that incidents like this don't happen. To make sure that where you are digging, you understand what is under the ground, to keep you and the surrounding area safe," said Katie Allen, PG&E spokesperson.

23 ABC checked with the county and the contractor involved in the project. They both said, they followed procedure before they began the road work. The contractor, Burtch Construction, said they even have confirmation numbers proving they called 811.

The utility said they will investigate if the construction company made the call before the digging began.

 

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