SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – Hundreds of people evacuated from a neighborhood near downtown San Jose after a gas line break on Wednesday will not be able to return until Thursday evening at the earliest, the fire department said Thursday morning.
At a morning briefing, the San Jose Fire Department said two gas lines were affected, an 8-inch line and a 12-inch line, and PG&E crews were working to fix both.
Officials said Wednesday that an 8-inch steel gas line ruptured around 10 a.m. in the Race Street and Eugene Avenue area. Gas from the underground leak could not be drained and accumulated underground and posed a greater danger to the environment, said the fire department.
The leak immediately resulted in the evacuation of homes and businesses within a 900-foot radius, with San Jose police going door-to-door alerting residents and businesses. About 325 addresses were affected, SJFD officials said. The gas was turned off for dozens of customers.
PG&E found that an outside contractor hit the 8-inch gas pipeline with mechanical equipment in an area where utility lines for construction were properly marked, the fire department said, adding that contractors should dig within two feet of the marked Gas pipes.
NorCal and San Jose Parks Red Cross Office, Recreation & Neighborhood Services have been helping with evacuated residents. On Wednesday afternoon, accommodation was set up in the Bascom Community Center and is available to all residents who need accommodation.
Roads around the intersection of Race Street and Park Avenue will remain closed as the PG&E crews continue repair work, which is expected to continue into the evening.
The fire department said the area includes odd and even addresses from 153 to 245 Race Street and 212 Grand Avenue to 102 Park Avenue.