Gas leak evacuation extended for San Jose residents

Bay Area

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — Authorities say a gas leak-caused evacuation order likely won’t expire until later on Thursday evening.

“There’s a number of steps they’re gonna have to go through,” to make sure everything is safe, Capt. Brad Cloutier with the San Jose Fire Department said.

Residents can get an alert as soon as the order is lifted by signing up at alertscc.org.

The area of Race St and Park Ave was evacuated around 3 p.m. on Wednesday after PG&E says an 8″ steel natural gas line ruptured. It impacted about 325 homes and businesses within the evacuation area, according to the San Jose Fire Department.

Investigators discovered that a third-party contractor, unaffiliated with PG&E, had struck the gas line with mechanical equipment when they were supposed to be hand-digging within two feet on either side of the gas line that was struck.

“Due to the leak occurring underground, the gas was not able to vent and accumulated underground. This posed a greater risk to the surrounding area and SJPD was called in to help establish a safe perimeter and assist with door-to-door evacuation notices,” the San Jose Fire Department explained.

Red Cross NorCal assisted officials with helping evacuated residents. Some people were allowed to have a police escort back home to rescue their pets, but around 7:30 p.m., PG&E had said it was no longer safe to do that.

The Bascom Community Center was being used as a shelter for some time, but was closed shortly before midnight.

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