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Natural gas leaks keep utilities workers busy Tuesday

Construction crews hit, break two lines in Colorado Springs

Two More Natural Gas Lines Broken in Colorado Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Two gas lines were hit in two Colorado Springs neighborhoods Tuesday.

The first incident happened just before noon at the construction site of a new Department of Veteran's Affairs clinic at 3141 Centennial Blvd.  Traffic, homes and businesses weren't affected because the site is in a remote area.

The second line was hit about an hour later in the 1500 block of South Tejon Street. Traffic was delayed in the area of Tejon and Brookside streets while work was done to clamp the broken line.

Colorado Springs Utilities said neither crew will be fined because they followed procedure and contacted the utility in advance for help locating existing lines.  However, crews often have to pay for repairs.  Both lines were fixed by mid-afternoon.

Teresa Kennedy, who lives near the Tejon gas leak, learned about it in a dangerous way -- when she stepped outside to smoke a cigarette.

"I noticed the hazmat (unit) so I was assuming it was a gas line or something," she said.  "Since (the construction crew) have been working here, they've come through my yard a few times.  So I didn't know until they told me there was a gas leak and they had to shut my gas off, and he said it would be a couple of hours."

Firefighters are trained and equipped to clamp a broken gas line because they often arrive at a scene sooner than utility workers.  They use a wrench-like clamp for that purpose.

"We can plug or clamp," said Capt. David Broch.  "The smaller residential lines, we can plug."

CSU is investigating whether the gas lines in both locations were properly marked as an indication to construction crews.

A broken gas line last week caused traffic problems for several days near Garden of the Gods Road and Chestnut Street.

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