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2 homes impacted by Mustang Crossing gas line leak; no health concerns reported

Contractor was moving dirt away from excavation area when they accidentally punctured gas line, according to Upper Pine River deputy fire chief
The new Mustang Crossing subdivision in Bayfield is finishing up Phase 1A of construction. (Courtesy of town of Bayfield)

Two houses near the Mustang Crossing development site were impacted when a contractor accidentally hit a natural gas line at the site on Friday afternoon, but there were no injuries or reports of anyone inhaling the gas.

Greg French, deputy chief with the Upper Pine River Fire Protection District, said the contractor was moving some dirt away from an excavation area where the gas line was. The contractor accidentally punctured the gas line when it made contact with the excavator bucket’s teeth, French said.

“It was very shallow at that location,” he said. “The repair wasn’t that difficult.”

One house was evacuated, while a second house had to shelter in place.

“We use four gas monitors to check the atmosphere and where the plume is headed. (The two houses) kind of adjacent to the plume. They weren’t in the direct path of the plume, so we just wanted them to shelter in place,” French said, adding that the evacuated house was close enough to the site to where it caused concern.

The Town of Bayfield said on its Facebook page there was a gas line leak at the Mustang Crossing development on Friday afternoon. One person commenting on the page claimed Cherry Street was blocked off as a result. (Screenshot)

The decision to evacuation is based on factors like wind shifts or if gas pulls in the direction of a home, and people already steered clear of the area, according to French.

Black Hills Energy sealed off the damaged area using vice grips and then removed it, French said.

The gas line was fixed in less than a half-hour, and fire crews cleared the scene after about one hour and 15 minutes.

Due to blowing winds, the fire department blocked off Cherry Street, which is about a block from the development site, temporarily to keep cars from driving by and to keep possible sources of ignition away from the area.

mhollinshead@durangoherald.com

An earlier version of this story misidentified the type of gas line hit during construction. It was a natural gas line, not a gasoline line.



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