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Businesses forced to evacuate after morning gas leak
BEAUMONT-By: Leslie Rangel
Everything is okay now, but a gas leak this morning brought part of a Beaumont shopping center to a standstill.
Firefighters evacuated about half a dozen businesses on the north end of the Target shopping center.
A construction crew working on the concord road project struck a natural gas line.
For some it's an inconvenience.
"A little while ago, I walked out saw firefighters and I said oh! And I walked out back and I heard the gas noise," Efrain Haro, an employee of an ice cream shop said in Spanish.
It was a gas leak near this shopping center.
A construction crew hit a gas line on Concord Road.
Firefighters asked business owners nearby to shut down and send employees out of the area.
Customers had to wait.
No one was taking any chances.
"If the gas does get in, turn the light switch and gets to the ignition source it could cause a fire so it's just as a precaution," Capt. Brad Penisson with Beaumont Fire Department says.
The spokesperson for the gas company, Centerpoint, says crews have struck lines on the Concord project four times since February.
"They have companies that locate the lines but what happens is they may not be as deep as we thought because of erosion or something like that over the years. It doesn't show how deep the line is and so as they start digging, sometimes they strike the line a little bit sooner than they expected," Penisson said.
It was an unexpected beginning to everyone's morning.
"It does affect us, it's logical right? There's things that happen, because of error from a worker or other reasons so things happen and oh well," Haro said in Spanish.
What happened here for two hours, left employees waiting for the air to clear before they could return to work.
Centerpoint crews say it's important that everyone doing construction projects,even as small as planting a tree.
Call 811 before digging. They will send out crews who can always pinpoint exactly where a line is and how closely you can dig to them.