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Natural Gas Leak Forces Residents To Evacuate In Salt Lake City Avenues

Mar 19, 2019, 8:27 AM | Updated: 1:07 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Residents from six apartment buildings in Salt Lake City were forced to evacuate Tuesday morning after a gas and water main break.

Shortly after 7 a.m., Salt lake City Fire crews began evacuating residents because of natural gas that was leaking from a 2-inch plastic line. Crews located the line along 1st avenue between A and 136th street.

The cause of the break is still under investigation.

“I woke up about 7 (a.m.) smelling a lot of gas, checked the whole house to make sure everything was OK, and then I realized it was coming from outside,” said resident Savannah Olsen.

Photo: Salt Lake City Public Utilities

Photo: Salt Lake City Public Utilities

Salt Lake City Fire officials said 200 units had to be evacuated from six buildings. They initially staged UTA buses for residents but then relocated them to the Sorenson Multi Cultural Center and a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meetinghouse on on 1st Avenue. Students at Madeline Choir school were told to shelter in place but did not have to evacuate.

“The winds are coming from the northeast, pushing southwest and keeping it away from school,” said Capt. Tony Stowe with the Salt Lake City Fire Department.

The gas line was shut down just before noon, but the evacuation remained in place until the gas was fully cleared from the apartments. Dominion Energy will be making repairs throughout the day.

Residents are playing the waiting game, but they said they are thankful for the quick response from firefighters and Dominion Energy.

“I’m grateful they came and told us what to do,” Olsen said.

Even after the line is secure, Dominion and fire crews will need to go into each building for a safety check before allowing the residents to return.

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Natural Gas Leak Forces Residents To Evacuate In Salt Lake City Avenues