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Natural Gas Geyser Forces Evacuation

A valve on a natural-gas pipeline ruptured during construction work Friday, sending a geyser of gas roaring out of the line but causing no fire or explosion.

The Woodinville Fire Department evacuated people within a mile of the rupture, while other residents in the area were told to stay in their homes until the situation was secure.

No injuries were reported, but the Woodinville-Duvall Road was closed.

The rupture was in a 4-inch-diameter “tap” line near its intersection with a 26-inch main line, which was shut down. The remaining gas was expected to vent Friday afternoon, said Susan Hartje, a spokeswoman for Northwest Pipeline Corp. in Salt Lake City.

Service was being switched to a parallel 30-inch line so customers’ gas supply would not be interrupted.

The construction workers were taking a meter station out of service when their equipment fractured a valve about 1 p.m., Hartje said.

The 26-inch pipeline runs from the Canadian border at Sumas through Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Wyoming to Colorado.

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