Update 8/5/15 10:18 p.m.:
West Pinhook between Bonin and Southpark roads was the site of a major gas leak on Wednesday. Out of precaution, lanes were closed and power for some surrounding businesses was shut off. At least 120 customers were without natural gas.
The Lafayette Fire Department responded to the call around 1 p.m. Officials say a third party contractor was drilling a seven foot hole for a power line when he struck the four inch thick gas pipe.
“Our haz-mat team and fire trucks responded.” says Alton Trahan, with the Lafayette Fire Department. “Once we got on the scene we realized it was a major gas line because it was leaking pretty good. We were able to get the police department to shut down the 3300 block of West Pinhook to make the scene safe.”
Making the scene safe also meant turning off electricity for the area because of the amount of natural gas escaping into the air beneath
transformers and lines. Several businesses were without power for a while, like Play and Learn with ME!, an indoor playground and event
center on West Pinhook.
Micha Smith was working at the time and says “I was pretty much just going along with my day. I was talking to one of the parents here and
the lights just shut off. I didn’t know what had happened I thought maybe it was a thunder storm or…I didn’t know, I was just left here in the dark. A couple of the kids screamed, they were scared. Their parents calmed them down and I had to tell everyone I’m sorry you know
about the power being out.”
Smith says eventually her sister who works at Acadiana T-shirts, which was also without power, told her what was going on.
CenterPoint Energy technicians had to purge the gas line of air before turning meters back on for customers.
Officials say there was no indication of a gas line in the area where the contractor was working.
Authorities tell KLFY’s Lydia Magallanes that the gas leak was caused when a contractor drilled a hole in an area that was thought to be safe.
The drill punctured a 4 inch gas line. Crews were able to cap the leak around 3 p.m.
Officials shut off several surrounding circuit breakers were turned off as a precaution, leaving many businesses without power for about an hour and a half.