A crew working on a building renovation at 202 State Street severed a one-inch gas line Tuesday morning halting train, vehicle, and pedestrian traffic at State and Yanonali from11:30 a.m.-1:25 p.m. The former site of Paoli’s restaurant and, more recently, Bay Roadhouse Bar & Grill is listed in city permit files as undergoing interior alterations and “new plaster walls, doors and fireplaces in the exterior patio area.”
Police, public works, city fire, and gas company crews responded to the leak — which could be heard a block away, according to City Fire spokesperson Gary Pitney — and evacuated nearby businesses. Sergio Jimenez with the Gas Co. stated it was likely the third-party contractor would be responsible for the costs of repair undertaken by SoCalGas, not ratepayers.
No injuries were reported, and builders are reminded to check with 8-1-1 Digalert to have utility companies mark underground utilities before work commences.
A public service announcement from County Fire alerted to the various ways to see a gas leak: a damaged appliance connection; dirt, water, or debris being blown into the air; a dry patch in an otherwise moist yard; fire or explosion; or exposed pipeline following a disaster. Gas leaks can also be detected by an unusual hissing, whistling, or roaring sound in those areas, and natural gas carries a distinctive sulfur or “rotten egg” odor.
A suspected gas leak is reason to immediately leave the area and call either 9-1-1 to report the leak or Southern California Gas Company at (800) 427-2200. Sparks from electrical equipment (appliances and lights) or motorized equipment can ignite the gas, as could other flame sources like candles.