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SOU Construction Crews Hit Gas Line

ASHLAND, Ore., – Crews working on the new dorms at Southern Oregon University had quite a scare Thursday, as their equipment punctured a gas line.

Ashland firefighters say a backhoe struck a two-inch gas line near the construction site on Stadium Street. The gas leak shot gravel in the air and sent crews running for cover. Firefighters evacuated construction crews from the scene while utility workers shut off the gas. No one was hurt in the accident.

Firefighters say there was a serious risk because of the size of the gas line. 

Should the gas reach the right mixture to light off, the cloud that can come from a two-inch line blowing this stuff is fairly large and the heat is fairly intense,” said Kelly Burns with Ashland Fire. “Since we’re in extreme fire behavior, it could have been a fairly significant event here.”

 Construction crews were allowed to return to work shortly after the gas was turned off. Ashland Street was closed for a short time during the accident.