Police are searching for the driver of a car that crashed into the Nordstrom building in downtown Spokane late Tuesday night, causing a natural gas leak.
The Spokane Police Department responded to reports that a car ran into the building at 800 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. just before midnight.
When officers arrived, the driver had already left, said Officer John O’Brien, a department spokesman.
The Spokane Fire Department was dispatched after a natural gas leak stemming from the car crash was reported , according to a news release from the department.
When fire department personnel arrived, they discovered the crash had caused a “significant” gas leak involving a 2-inch natural gas line.
Fire personnel were unable to shut off the gas due to the way the line was damaged and had to wait for Avista to shut off the flow of gas remotely, which took approximately two hours, the fire department said.
During that time, crews evacuated River Park Square, Old City Hall and the current City Hall buildings and monitored gas levels and flow, while ventilating the building.
The department said “luckily” the incident occurred late enough at night there were minimal evacuations and disruption of traffic.
Police said they’ve heard unconfirmed reports that a second car was involved in the incident, but the investigation is ongoing.
The car left on the scene has been impounded and police are searching for the driver, O’Brien said.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.