Businesses evacuated after van hits natural gas line


by Mike Gertzman

Posted on June 2, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Updated Monday, Jun 2 at 12:42 PM

Map: Collision

View larger map

PHOENIX -- Emergency crews responded to a serious collision Monday morning involving two vehicles on 51st Avenue near Interstate 10.

A van crashed into an above-ground, high-pressure natural gas line, according to Capt. Jonathan Jacobs with the Phoenix Fire Dept.

"When our first responders got here from both police and fire we were asked to evacuate several of the buildings," said Sgt. Crump.

Those buildings included a gas station, a uniform store, a strip mall and everything within 300 feet of the ruptured gas line.

Capt. Jacobs said there are some unique concerns with a natural gas leak, "it's heavier than air so it has the potential to kind of linger low and find hidden spaces. Those are some of the reasons that we were very concerned."

The crash occurred when the driver of a car tried to turn left out of a gas station.

"I understand that we had a four-door passenger car trying to get out of the private drive here at the QT," said Sgt. Trent Crump with the Phoenix Police Dept.

Capt. Jacobs said one person was transported to the hospital but the person did not have serious injuries.

Video of the scene from Chopper 3 showed 51st Avenue was closed. The off-ramps from Interstate 10 to 51st Avenue were restricted, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.