October 1, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
53°F

Gas line ruptured in Westfield Twp. as work crews accidentally hit wrong pipe

WESTFIELD TWP. — Crews work­ing to install a truck wash on Lake Road accidentally hit a gas line Tuesday, causing a leak that crews worked several hours to repair.

Firefighters were called to Blue Beacon of Lodi-Seville, 8859 Lake Road, about 1:10 p.m. after con­struction crews installing a new copper water line for a truck wash struck a gas line a few feet from the east side of Lake Road, Westfield Fire & Rescue Chief Richard Fletcher said.

A firefighter with Westfield Fire & Rescue helps secure the scene of a gas leak on Lake Road near U.S. Route 224 on Tuesday afternoon. The leak was caused when crews installing waterlines for a truck wash accidentally struck a gas line. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY LISA HLAVINKA)

A firefighter with Westfield Fire & Rescue helps secure the scene of a gas leak on Lake Road near U.S. Route 224 on Tuesday afternoon. The leak was caused when crews installing waterlines for a truck wash accidentally struck a gas line. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY LISA HLAVINKA)

“They were attempting to tap into a waterline, and apparently had everything marked off but hap­pened to strike a gas line,” Fletcher said.

The leak wasn’t repaired until approximately 4 p.m. because crews with Columbia Gas ran into diffi­culty shutting the gas off so the line could be fixed, said Ray Frank, Columbia Gas spokesman.

“With the first excavation there were some fittings that they didn’t want to disturb, so they went to a different location,” Frank said.

Fletcher said that although the leak was below power lines, strong wind helped dissipate the gas.

“Our main concern was to make sure we eliminated any ignition source,” he said. “It was below power lines, so that was our main concern, but there was a nice wind to displace the gas as it was coming up.”

The Seville-Guilford Fire Depart­ment and the Ohio Highway Patrol assisted Westfield Fire & Rescue in securing the scene near U.S. Route 224.

Fletcher said construction crews said they had permission from Columbia Gas to dig in the area.

Frank said he was unsure whether they had permission, but “that will be determined as the investigation gets under way.”

He said about a dozen businesses were without gas for the day, but he expected service to be restored by today.

“What that includes is a visit to each establishment to re-light and test equipment,” he said. “It would be performing the usual safety checks we do whenever establishing service.”

He urged people doing projects that require digging to dial 811, which directs callers to the Ohio Utilities Protection Service, which alerts utility and underground facil­ity owners to identify and mark their lines.

Contact Lisa Hlavinka at (330) 721-4048 or lhlavinka@medina-gazette.com.