UPDATED: Gas leak forces evacuation

A contractor using an excavator is believed to have been responsible for rupturing a gas line in the 600 block of Silica St. on Monday.

A contractor using an excavator is believed to have been responsible for rupturing a gas line in the 600 block of Silica St. on Monday that resulted in an evacuation that lasted several hours.

Nelson Fire Rescue received multiple calls shortly after 1 p.m. of a natural gas line break.

Crews arrived to find a large vapour cloud coming from the area that had been excavated.

With the help of the police department, the 700 and 800 blocks of Silica St. were evacuated as well as a portion of the 700 block of Victoria St.

Public works employees also responded by setting up barricades for perimeter and traffic control.

One the evacuation was completed, crews prepared fire suppression lines.

“Due to the large amount of gas escaping there was concern by the fire department and Fortis that the vapour cloud may ignite,” assistant chief Mike Daloise said in a news release.

Nelson Hydro crews attended and isolated houses identified as a higher risk of providing an ignition source.

Power was shut off to a small area of Uphill until the leak was stopped.

The cause of the leak is under investigation by Worksafe BC.

There were no injuries.

Daloise said anyone preparing to dig should first phone BC One Call at 1-800-474-6886) or go online at bconecall.ca.

“Nelson Fire Rescue Services thank the multiple agencies that coordinated together to bring this incident to a successful conclusion,” he said.

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