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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: garbage

Garbage truck breaks home’s gas meter

A gas leak evacuated four homes Friday morning after a Spokane garbage truck broke a residential gas meter.

It was garbage day today for a home near Carlisle Avenue and Lincoln Street when a garbage truck clipped their gas meter meter around 8:30 a.m., causing it to leak natural gas from a small half-inch pipe.

Property owner Mark Loe said the mishap caused the basement tenant to wake up unexpectedly.

“He thought the Mayan calendar had finally come true,” Loe said.

Firefighters evacuated four homes as a precaution, but easily turned off the gas valve at the source, according to firefighter Jeff Estes. Meters can easily be damaged, but it’s more common to have digging accidents, he added, like Thursday afternoon incident where a contractor busted a natural gas pipe in the 1600 block of North Cook Street.

Nearby homes were briefly evacuated including a residential day care. Betsy Olson corralled her four grandchildren and four neighborhood kids to Chief Garry Park for some playtime.

This morning’s gas meter damage is the second publicized incident this week involving a city garbage truck. Two trash men were helping a woman move her stuck car when the parking brake on their truck broke sending the massive vehicle down an icy hill into several parked cars.

(The broken gas meter remains on the ground after a garbage truck broke a pipe and started a natural gas leak. | Nicole Hensley photo)

Slick, steep South Hill road - catalyst for multiple vehicle pile-up

Icy conditions got the best of a Spokane garbage truck during the Thursday morning commute as it slid down a treacherous South Hill road and collided with several parked vehicles.

The drivers said their chains and parking brake of a garbage truck snapped as they were outside helping another driver stuck in the roadway. The heavy truck slid down Howard Avenue and hit several parked cars near Sixth Street.

Nobody was injured during the pile-up, according to Spokane Police officers, but multiple vehicles were towed away due to damage.

Maureen Henderson was inside her stuck car as the truck careened toward her. It hit hard, she said, but it wasn’t as jarring as she thought it was going to be.

“Last year it was a school bus that knocked out a couple cars,” Henderson said. “If the city - if they would come and gravel this, it wouldn’t happen.”

Because the garbage truck is owned by the city of Spokane, officers could not cite the drivers, but the incident report will be examined by a traffic lieutenant who will decide if a citation merits the situation.

City spokeswoman Marlene Feist said the drivers will not be held liable for damage to the other vehicles.

According to witnesses, the garbage men had finished picking up trash in a nearby alleyway when they stopped to help Henderson.

(The chains and parking brake of a Spokane garbage truck snapped during the Thursday morning commute. The truck collided with multiple cars on its way down Howard Street near Sixth Avenue. Nicole Hensley photo)

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