West Columbia

August 31, 1993

No injuries reported as cable TV workers puncture gas line

A cable television crew inadvertently punctured a gas line yesterday morning while laying cable on a street in Harper's Choice, said Battalion Chief Donald R. Howell, a spokesman for the county's fire and rescue services.

There were no reported injuries or explosions during the gas leak, but nearby roads were closed.

Children in the area, who were reporting to the first day of school, were escorted safely around the leak.

The gas leak occurred at about 7:42 a.m. when the crew's trenching machine struck the natural gas line on Wellinghall Way at Harpers Farm Road, Chief Howell said.

Someone in the area called 911, and about 25 personnel from eight local fire and rescue units arrived. They went door-to-door to warn residents who live between 100 and 200 yards from the leak near Hobbits Glen Golf Course, telling them to leave their windows shut until the gas leak was cleared.

It wasn't necessary to evacuate anyone, he said.

Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. spokesman John Metzger said the repairs were made at about 11 a.m.

Neighbors weren't in danger because they don't live close enough to the leak, Mr. Howell said.

Also, gas rises and dissipates in the open air, Mr. Metzger said.

Wellinghall Way and Northern Fences Lane, and Harpers Farm Road from Route 108 to Willow Bottom Drive, were closed until the leak was repaired, Mr. Howell said.

If a running vehicle or another source of ignition had been present, a small explosion and or a fire could have occurred, injuring the crew, Mr.Howell said.


* Town Center: 10500 block of Little Patuxent Parkway: Someone ripped off a windshield wiper of a Toyota Paseo while trying to break in through the vehicle's sunroof on Aug. 23. The car's alarm system apparently scared the thief off, police said.

* Hickory Ridge: 6300 block of Kiteline Court: Someone stole the front and rear plates of a 1989 Chevy between Aug. 8 and Aug. 23. The stolen plates were Maryland registered, 93A264.

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