April 17, 2015
In Wake of Fresno Gas Line Incident, PG&E Urges Calling 811 before Any Digging Project to Protect Public Safety
Utility responds quickly after non-PG&E workers strike transmission pipeline
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) urges anyone doing digging projects to call 811 at least two working days in advance so that utility lines can be marked to allow for safe digging. Workers not affiliated with PG&E apparently struck a 12-inch natural gas transmission pipeline this afternoon in Fresno; no call had been placed to 811.
The gas that was released by the dig-in ignited, and there were reports of injuries.
The company said in a statement: "Our primary concern is always the safety of the public and our employees. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been injured. As we continue to investigate this incident, we remind all of our customers of the importance of calling 811 before they do any type of digging project. Digging into gas pipelines can have serious safety consequences."
PG&E responded quickly after the pipeline was struck. PG&E detected a slight change in pressure at 2:29 p.m., and was first notified about the incident at 2:36 p.m. Actions to shut off gas began before 3 p.m., and the flow of gas to the pipeline was shut at 3:20 p.m. Because of the remaining gas in the line, the flames were exhausted at 3:56 p.m.
PG&E customers' gas service was not affected by the incident.
In California, contractors are required to provide notification of their intent to dig by calling 811 at least two working days in advance so that utility lines can be marked—an important step in protecting public safety. Failing to do so can also result in costly fines and delayed projects.
PG&E offers the following tips for safe digging:
Natural Gas Safety Tips
Gas safety is important, and being prepared can you help avoid dangerous situations. Find out what to do if you suspect a gas leak, how to detect carbon monoxide, how to turn off your gas in an emergency, and other valuable advice.
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