• Crews respond to gas line break outside Stormont-Vail


    CJOnline.com

    Topeka, KS.

    Construction crews struck a 4-inch gas line Wednesday morning while working in a parking lot on the west side of Stormont-Vail Regional Health Center, sending a strong gas odor through the area but resulting in no injuries or evacuations, authorities said.

    With a steady south breeze blowing at the time, the accident sent a gas odor several blocks south of Stormont-Vail.

    Authorities said evacuation of some buildings was considered, but soon was deemed unnecessary by Topeka Fire Department firefighters who checked air quality in several buildings in the area.

    Firefighters “didn’t find a health or fire hazard” because of the gas line being struck, said Battalion Chief Chris Cervantez.

    Buildings with the gas odor were allowed to ventilate naturally, he said.

    The incident was reported at 10:19 a.m. as construction workers were doing excavation work in a Stormont-Vail parking lot just east of S.W. 9th and Garfield. The parking lot is immediately west of the Stormont-Vail hospital north tower.

    Cervantez said buildings where the gas odor was present included the Stormont-Vail parking garage, as well as the Shawnee County Health Agency, 1615 S.W. 8th, and as far away as the Mulvane Medical Plaza, 634 S.W. Mulvane, on the southwest side of St. Francis Health Center.

    Topeka Police Department, Kansas Gas Service and USIC utility locating service personnel also were called to the scene.