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UPDATED: Gas leak evacuation

Posted: March 18, 2009 12:59 a.m.
Updated: March 18, 2009 11:20 a.m.

Sheriff's Deputy Jeff Brito lets a Placerita Canyon resident know of a voluntary evacuation Tuesday evening caused by a leaking gas pipe.

About 60 Newhall homes were evacuated Tuesday after a natural gas line broke, sending a sulfuric odor wafting through the Placerita Canyon neighborhood.

Shortly after 4 p.m. Los Angeles County firefighters from stations 73, 132 and 104 responded to the leak at 20910 Placerita Canyon Road, said Luke Claus, assistant fire chief of Dvision 3.

A passerby noticed the gassy smell and called the Fire Department, Claus said.

The pipe, about five inches in diameter, is on private property, he said.

The line was apparently punctured by someone clearing debris with a backhoe, said Denise King, spokeswoman for The Gas Co.

She said by 7:25 p.m. the gas had been shut off.

Claus said Tuesday’s breeze was a good thing, keeping the gas from settling in any one area.

Homes were evacuated within a quarter-square-mile area around the leaking pipe; residents were told to leave the canyon for the time being, Claus said.

Sheriff’s deputies also went door to door on Placerita Canyon Road, Placeritos Boulevard and Choke Cherry Lane to notify residents of the leak and warn them they may have to leave if the wind shifted.

Placerita Canyon Road was closed to traffic between Sierra Highway and a security gate near Choke Cherry Lane.
Natural gas is essentially odorless, which is why the distinctive rotten egg odor is added, serving as a red flag in case of leaks.


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