A major natural gas line break in Kings County caused by a vehicle accident Wednesday afternoon shut down a county road in Hanford for several hours.
The break is on North 11th Avenue, between Elder Avenue and Flint Avenue in Hanford, said Marc McWilliams, a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol. The accident happened around 3:45 p.m. at 6660 N 11th Ave.
Manuel Dafonte, battalion chief with the Kings County Fire Department, said two vehicles were involved, causing one to roll, which crashed into a gas meter, shearing it off. The other vehicle didnt appear to be damaged, he said. The woman who crashed into the meter had some scratches, but wasnt taken to a hospital.
The accident remains under investigation.
McWilliams said officials made the call to shut down the road at 4:20 p.m. and estimated it could be closed for up to four hours.
The broken gas valve was shut around 6:15 p.m. by workers with Southern California Gas Co., Dafonte said. Officials plan to open the road Wednesday night, with repair work possibly continuing through Thursday morning.
The road was closed as a precautionary measure, to ensure gas fumes didnt ignite.
Rochelle Silsbee, spokeswoman for Southern California Gas Co., said she didnt know how much gas leaked, but that its important to remember natural gas is lighter than air.
Once its gone, its gone it dissipates, Silsbee said. It literally blows away.
Still, if residents have concerns, they can call the companys gas emergency number: 1-800-427-2200.
We generally tell people, Look, listen or smell, Silsbee said. If they see gas escaping or hear a hissing noise near a gas facility, stove or gas meter, and smell the distinctive odor of natural gas, please give us a call, or dial 911.
About 35 rural customers had outages due to the gas break, she said, and they should have fuel again no later than Thursday morning.
The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6386, firstname.lastname@example.org or @CarmenGeorge on Twitter.