Downtown gas leak caused by contractor | News | Palo Alto Online |


Downtown gas leak caused by contractor

Leak behind The Epiphany Hotel caused by contractor

Police cars block the intersection of Hamilton Avenue and High Street as people look on during a gas leak in an alley near Hamilton and Emerson streets in Palo Alto on Dec. 19, 2017. Photo by Connie Jo Cotton.

Police and fire officials closed a one-block area of downtown Palo Alto and evacuated nearby buildings for a few hours Tuesday afternoon because of a gas leak that occurred behind The Epiphany Hotel, police said.

The gas leak was reported at 11:51 a.m. and was in an alley behind the hotel, which is located at 180 Hamilton Ave. and which includes the restaurant Nobu, police Sgt. Brian Philip said.

A contractor putting in protective blocking around the gas manifold hit the half-inch line, blowing a hole in the pipe, fire Battalion Chief Chris Woodard said.

Palo Alto Utilities crews contained the leak and shut off the gas, which was leaking from an underground pipe that needed to be excavated. Authorities closed off the block for public safety, including Emerson and High streets between Hamilton and Forest avenues. Pedestrians were not allowed to pass through.

Fire officials evacuated four buildings, including the hotel, the House of Foam, YogaSource and Mangosteen Nails and Spa, Woodard said.

Utilities crews completed repairs on the line around 2:30 p.m., department spokeswoman Catherine Elvert said. The leak had affected service for a dozen customers behind Hamilton between Emerson and High streets.

As of 3:30 p.m., High Street and Hamilton Avenue were reopened, but one lane on High remained closed for utilities employees addressing the leak, according to Woodard.


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2 people like this
Posted by Another Tom
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 19, 2017 at 3:25 pm

Another Tom is a registered user.

All is fine now. Thanks for the update Palo Alto Online <sarcasm>

Like this comment
Posted by Novelera
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 20, 2017 at 5:41 pm

Novelera is a registered user.

Are we sure the gas wasn't coming from City Hall - hot air gas?

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