A gas leak caused a major headache for commuters on the stretch of Highway 19 heading southbound, at the noon hour on Thursday afternoon in Campbell River.
The Campbell River Fire Department was called to the 500 block of the South Island Highway, in the vicinity of the Ramada Inn.
A large excavation vehicle struck a large natural gas line, and both the Ramada and neighbouring Heron’s Landing hotel were evacuated as a precaution.
Deputy Fire Chief Kelly Bellefleur said that BC transit played a crucial role in the evacuation.
“BC Transit provided buses to shelter the hotel’s guests,” said Bellefleur. “They later transported the guests to the Community centre to wait for the gas line to be safely shut down.”
BC Ambulance crews were also on standby during this event.
FortisBC crews were called in, in order to make the necessary repairs to the natural gas system. They are estimating a time between one and three hours in order to repair the damage caused.
FortisBC Communications representative Lauren Lea says that this incident should serve as a reminder to make sure of the location of buried natural gas lines.
“Always click or call BC-1-call before digging to get further information,” said Lea.
A stretch of the Island Highway was closed off in both directions, but has since been reopened. There were no injuries.