Construction halted, workers evacuated when backhoe hits gas line in Washington City

Crews respond to a fire at a town home in Washington City, Utah, June 25, 2018 | File photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A construction operator was transported to the hospital and a construction site in Washington City was temporarily shut down Thursday after a natural gas line was struck by a backhoe.

Shortly before noon, firefighters and police responded to a gas leak at the Brio subdivision in Washington City involving a 2.5-inch line that ruptured when it was struck by a backhoe.

One worker who was “in the hole at the time of incident,” was treated at the scene and then transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center by ambulance for further evaluation after he inhaled the leaking gas while working in the confined space, Washington City Fire Department public information officer Julio Reyes said.

The incident occurred in a construction area where five homes are being built. All construction operations ceased and all workers were evacuated “as a precaution” when the fire department arrived,  he said.

Approximately 30 minutes later, a repair crew from Dominion Energy arrived and was able to stop the leak by clamping the line on each side of the tear, which secures the line that can then be placed back in service. The repair operation typically takes about two hours or less, and once it is completed the construction workers can return to the job site, Reyes said.

No other injuries were reported.

According to Dominion Energy, hitting a buried utility cable may cause property damage, injury or even death, and state law requires that anyone who plans to dig, blast or perform tunnel work call 811 to schedule an appointment with a utility representative who will inspect the site and mark any underground utility lines.

Sometimes these lines are buried at a shallow depth and even seemingly simple tasks, including installing a mailbox, planting a tree or building a deck, require a call to 811, the company website says.

This report is based on statements from police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • mshaw July 27, 2018 at 12:57 am

    Will Mike shaw say it worked until it didn’t?

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