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Morgan Hill Gas Leak Forces Evacuations, Train Closure

Construction on Dunne Avenue caused the leak.

A natural gas leak at a construction site in Morgan Hill prompted evacuations and the closure of nearby train tracks this afternoon, a fire department spokesman said.

The construction site at 275 E. Dunne Ave. where the leak happened was evacuated, as was a lumberyard in the area, Morgan Hill Fire Department spokesman Jim Crawford said.

People at a nearby apartment complex and community center were told to shelter in place, Crawford said.

The leak began at the construction site at about 1:30 p.m. when crews accidentally pierced a 2-inch underground natural gas pipe, Crawford said.

"They were doing some construction and then struck a line," Crawford said.

The fire department and Morgan Hill police responded and cleared people from the construction area and the lumberyard on Depot Street, Crawford said.

Police ordered people at the neighboring Murphy Ranch apartment complex at 310 East Dunne Ave. and the Morgan Mill Community and Cultural Center at 17575 Peak Ave. to stay indoors to avoid exposure to the gas, he said.

A section of train tracks near the construction site was closed to prevent any trains from passing through, Crawford said.

He said the tracks are used by Caltrain and Union Pacific.

Caltrain spokeswoman Christine Dunn said Caltrain service was not affected because no lines run through that area in the middle of the day.

Traffic was blocked on East Dunne from Butterfield Boulevard to Church Street, Crawford said.

Crawford estimated the number of people evacuated at "less than a hundred."

PG&E employees sent to the scene had to dig down to repair the pipe, Crawford said.

At about 2:40 p.m., after the PG&E crew stopped the leak, authorities lifted the shelter-in-place and evacuation orders, and reopened the street and train tracks.

No injuries were reported.

Copyright © 2013 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

Tom Foolery February 15, 2013 at 02:45 AM
Good thing we don't have the HSR in yet.. The whole town would have exploded.

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