Excavator hits gas line causing downtown Bellingham leak


BELLINGHAM - A few businesses in downtown Bellingham had to be evacuated Tuesday afternoon, May 6, after an excavator hit a natural gas line during construction.

The leak occurred at about 2 p.m. at a construction site near the intersection of North State and Magnolia streets.

An excavator used to break up asphalt hit the line and caused the leak, Bellingham Fire Capt. Mark Brennan said. Cascade Natural Gas crews showed up about 10 minutes later, and Brennan said Cascade estimated that repairs on the line would be completed by about 6 p.m.

City officials said residents may detect a slight gas odor from the release, however, emergency crews do not anticipate any hazard to the community.

Bellingham Fire crews responded to the scene and were monitoring gas levels in the air. Brennan said most of the gas was dissipating.

Stylists at The Velvet Rope Hair Studio at the corner of State and Magnolia said a construction worker rushed in and told them that a gas line had been hit and they had to get out of the building, salon owner Billy Munoz said. Amy Price had to finish cutting her client's hair outside after the evacuation.

The time Cascade Natural Gas arrived on scene was corrected May 7, 2014.

Reach ZOE FRALEY at zoe.fraley@bellinghamherald.com or call 756-2803.

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