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Gas Leak Causes Evacuation Of El Cerrito Homes

EL CERRITO (KCBS) – It took about five hours, but Pacific Gas and Electric crews were able to cap a gas leak in El Cerrito Wednesday morning, which caused residents in four homes to be evacuated.

The gas leak was first reported around 12:30 a.m. at Everett St. and Manila Ave., a residential neighborhood.

PG&E crews discovered that a two-inch plastic gas line had been damaged due to tree root growth.

Gas was shut off to the portion of the pipe that needed repairing at 5 a.m.

Morris said a tree’s roots grew into the gas line, causing the leak, but that no customers had lost gas service in the area.

Responding fire crews came upon a cloud of dust that shot up to 25-feet in the air from the hissing gas line.

“We’re thinking it caused all the moisture to be evaporated out of it and turned it into a fine powder as the pressured gas was going through it,” said Battalion Chief Michael Bond with the El Cerrito Fire Department.

It took PG&E crews about five hours to pinch off the leak. Residents in those homes evacuated were allowed back in around 6:00 a.m.

PG&E spokeswoman Jana Morris said they hope to have repairs completed by 7 or 8 a.m.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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