Gas line rupture prompts evacuation in Brewer

Posted Aug. 15, 2009, at 9:56 a.m.

BREWER — A rupture in a natural gas line on Gilmore Street Friday prompted Brewer firefighters to tempo-rarily evacuate and block off that street and nearby Allen Road.

Brewer fire Capt. Gary Parent said that a Bangor Gas pipeline was ruptured about 1:15 p.m. by a private plumbing contractor doing some excavation work near a Gilmore Street home.

The puncture released some highly pressured natural gas, “and a lot of it,” presenting a risk of explosion had there been an ignition source before it dissipated.

As a precaution, firefighters cleared about 20 residents out of the area until Bangor Gas arrived to shut off a remote valve to cut off the gas supply to that area, Parent said.

Bangor Gas then began repairing the line.

Most of the affected residents waited in the nearby North Brewer Shopping Plaza parking lot, Parent said.

According to Parent, the contractor complied with Dig Safe requirements. Parent said that the line was punc-tured not while the contractor was digging the hole but while refilling it. He said it appeared that the puncture occurred when a rock or other sharp object struck the line.

“Lucky for us, today was a hot day,” Parent said, adding that the relatively high temperatures meant that the gas that leaked evaporated and dissipated more quickly than it would have on a cold day.

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