UPDATE: Broken gas main forces evacuation of a dozen homes in downtown Kelowna neighbourhood


A ruptured main spewed natural gas into the air at the corner of Glenwood Avenue and Richter Street, after crews working at a housing complex dug up more than they expected with an excavator.

“It looks like they were trying to tie into a sewer line and they nicked a two-inch gas line.” said captain Shayne Kiehlbauch of the Kelowna Fire Department.

The danger posed by the broken gas main forced the Kelowna Fire Department to go door-to-door this morning and evacuate 12 homes.

The Kelowna fire department was on scene, as were Fortis crews plus local police.

“I heard a loud noise upstairs,” said Brian Crane, who lives across the street from the gas main break. “The first thing I smelled was the gas.”

Crane one of many residents asked to leave their homes while Fortis crews worked to shut off the gas — a task that was easier said than done.

“The gas is being fed from both directions, they believe,” said Kiehlbauch.

That fact forced Fortis crews to dig down on either side of the break and do a bypass.

It took Fortis two-and-half hours to get the gas shut off at Glenwood. The leak led to a gas outage for 70 customers in the area. Traffic in the neighbourhood was completely rerouted.

As for why the construction crew struck the gas line?

“They didn’t know where it was, so something went amiss there somewhere,” said Crane


Emergency crews are blocking off a neighbourhood street in Kelowna after construction crews struck a gas line this morning.

Gas could be heard roaring out of the damaged line near the intersection of Glenwood and Richter. Construction crews hit the gas line while trying to put in services for new two housing units.

Fortis crews were on site, looking to shut off the line. Fire crews were also standing by, with the street being blocked off by police and bylaw officers.



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