Phoenix hazmat crews stop natural gas leak

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- Phoenix firefighters and a hazmat unit successfully stopped a natural gas leak from a tanker truck in the parking lot of a repair shop, averting a potentially dangerous situation early Tuesday morning.

A trucker coming to work noticed the liquid natural gas leaking from the trailer and a cloud hovering around it, Phoenix fire Capt. Darrell Wiseman said.

Hazmat crews and fire units were called in as the threat of ignition loomed, Wiseman said.

Crews were able to pull the safety emergency shutoff valve and take control of the scene, Wiseman said.

He said that the natural gas would dissipate, but the danger of something igniting the gas before it could was a big factor.

"It's not as much toxic as it is predominantly flammable," Wiseman said, adding that even someone turning on a light at an adjacent building could spark a fire that would spread to the tanker and to other containers in the parking lot.

If ignited, "It could have set off a bad situation," Wiseman said.

Wiseman praised the crew for being aggressive in responding and for "doing what they are trained to do."