RIVERSIDE: Ruptured gas line, two small explosions, power outages reported after construction accident

RIVERSIDE — Parts of Riverside were left without power and access to two Downtown Riverside streets was restricted Tuesday night after construction crews accidentally ruptured a natural gas line, leading to two small explosions. No injuries were reported after escaping gas reached an arching power line, sending sparks 30 feet into the air, near the intersection of Market and 10th Streets, in Riverside.

City of Riverside Fire and Police Departments along with other emergency first responders were dispatched to the scene of the major gas leak about 11:45 p.m., after construction workers reported rupturing the gas line, according to Riverside Fire Department Chief DeLaurie.


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When officials arrived they found pressurized gas spewing from a hole near the middle of the intersection. Firefighters immediately began mitigating the leak, while police officers shut down the intersection to ensure the safety of citizens and officials working at the scene.

Firefighter’s efforts were hampered when pressurized gas escaping from a ruptured gas line made contact with an arching power line causing two small explosions. William Hayes/OC Hawk News photo

As the incident was unfolding, the natural gas spewing from under the roadway came in contact with a nearby power line, which caused two minor explosions. Reports of power outages then began flooding in from homes and businesses in the Wood Streets area west of downtown.

Riverside Public Utilities assisted with barricading off the intersection and surrounding streets as Southern California Gas Company worked to repair the ruptured gas line. Repairs lasted well into the following morning.

Some RTA bus routes that travel through the area as well as a few bus stops located within the two blocks that officials temporarily closed were effected by the repairs, but no major delays in travel times were reported.

Officials worked through the night and well into the next day repairing the ruptured line and power was eventually restored to the neighborhood effected by the blackout.

No injuries were reported and officials eventually repaired the gas line.

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William Hayes/Epicenter News video


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Trevor Montgomery, 46, recently moved to Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations, including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle and Anza Valley Outlook, as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and The Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 27 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 14 – soon to be 15 – grandchildren.