• Ruptured gas line sparks fire in Kapahulu


    HONOLULU —Hawaii Gas crews continue to work on a gas line along Kapahulu Avenue that ruptured Monday night sparking a fire.

    It happened at the intersection of Kapahulu Avenue and Date Street at around 9:30 p.m.

    Crews were working to repave the roadway when a major gas line was hit. When the repaving machine hit the gas line, it ignited the gas. Witnesses say the flames were sky high.

    Hawaii Gas crews needed to expose the three pipes feeding into the major line. They needed to dig to uncover it and that takes a long time to do safely.

    Honolulu fire crews say the flames did not pose a threat to the public and let the fire burn. The flames actually helped the gas crews locate where the gas was coming from.

    Officials say they are prepared to work on ruptures but it's always alarming to come out to a scene like this.

    "We haven't had a major incident like this in quite some time that I can remember," said Jack Grimmer, Vice President of Environmental Health Safety and Quality Assurance for Hawaii Gas. "I don't know when the last time we would have had one but it's been quite some time since we had an incident like this."

    At around 3:14 a.m. Tuesday, the gas line was shut off and the fire was extinguished, according to fire officials. Damage to neighboring structures were reported. Damages to the vehicle and the road are being assessed. No other injuries were reported.

    Some of the area businesses do not have gas.

    Just before 5 a.m. Tuesday, Kapahulu Avenue reopened and traffic will be intermittently stopped during the cleanup phase.

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