San Jose gas leak prompts evacuations, concerns neighbors

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The recent rains have caused a scary situation in a South Bay neighborhood. A gas leak forced people to leave their homes near Perie Lane and Suncrest Avenue just north of Alum Rock Park. (KGO-TV)

The recent rains have caused a scary situation in a South Bay neighborhood. A gas leak forced people to leave their homes near Perie Lane and Suncrest Avenue just north of Alum Rock Park.

PG&E crews finished the repair work around 9 p.m. Friday, some 10 hours after the leak was reported.

It was well after dark when PG&E crews finished repairing a gas leak in San Jose.

Diane Burkeen was home when it happened around 11 a.m. Her landscaper started frantically ringing her doorbell. "He saw the earth come up," Burkeen said. "Like it was blowing, like a volcano would erupt."

She called 911. "I saw the vapors from the gas and there was a pretty strong gas smell."

The fire department evacuated some homes and had other residents shelter-in-place while PG&E shut off the gas.

Despite several days of sunshine, PG&E says the cause of the leak was rain.

"Because the soil is still saturated in some locations, you can get incidents like this where underground facilities are compromised and can result in a gas leak," said PG&E spokesperson Mayra Tostado.

In this case, a four-inch, steel pipeline came apart where it was welded. Twenty customers were without gas for most of the day and night.

Burkeen wasn't especially inconvenienced by that, but she is worried about long-term pipeline safety. "Certainly, there's a concern with what happened with San Bruno and we live in an area where the earth moves," she told ABC7 News. "And so that would be my main concern."

This San Jose neighborhood had a similar gas leak about a year ago.
Related Topics:
newsgas leakPG&Efirefightersfire departmentsSan Jose
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