Ruptured gas line prompts evacuations, road closures in Los Alamos

Gas leak causes Los Alamos evacuations

LOS ALAMOS, Calif. - A gas line break in Los Alamos prompted emergency crews to evacuate two businesses and close down nearby streets Monday afternoon.

At about 12:37 p.m., a utility company crew digging a trench in the area of Augusta Street and Bell Street struck a two-inch underground gas line causing a major leak, according to Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni.

The nearby Chevron gas station and Subway restaurant were evacuated while Bell Street was closed in both directions. At least two blocks in either direction had to close said Zaniboni.

"Yea we got kind of scared, " Chevron worker Monica Diaz said. 

Monica Diaz and her Chevron gas station co-worker were asked to shelter in place around 1 p-m Monday.

"I got nervous when I saw the fire department, Cal Trans, Sheriff's, the PG & E," Diaz said.  

They were told not to open any windows or doors, not to sell any gas - and no matter what - not to turn on any cars because just across the street, natural gas was spewing rapidly into the air.

"Around 2 p-m they told us we had to evacuate the store, lock everything and don't turn off any switch and just be outside," Diaz said.    

From there, it was the waiting game as The Gas Company worked to find the gas leak so they could seal it. 

"Just here outside waiting so we can open the doors again," Diaz said.  

The California Highway Patrol assisted Santa Barbara County Fire personnel and a crew from the gas company with traffic control.

It took about two hours for the gas to be turned off because the gas company was waiting for additional equipment, Zaniboni said.

This story has been updated with the latest information on this incident.

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