A gas leak occurred at the corner of Robert’s Reach Road and Hwy. 19A on the afternoon of Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. An RCMP officer on scene said that a machine hit a gas line during construction. Fortis BC was on scene trying to get the line shut off. Photo by Marissa Tiel/Campbell River Mirror

UPDATED: Downtown Campbell River gas leak under control: FortisBC

Incident occurred Wednesday afternoon at the corner of Robert’s Reach Road and Hwy. 19A

UPDATED 5:13 p.m.:

The company doing construction work at the corner of Robert’s Reach Road and Highway 19A where a gas leak occurred Wednesday afternoon contacted FortisBC before they started digging, the company’s vice-president said.

Maurice Vale, vice-president of Berry and Vale Contracting said the company did their BC 1 Call before digging.

“We don’t start work without it,” he said. “We followed all the rules.”

Vale said that the line that was struck was not in the documents they received back from FortisBC.

“It’s an unidentified line,” he said. “It has nothing to do with my crew.”

UPDATED 3:56 p.m.:

The gas leak downtown is now under control, says FortisBC.

The leak occurred at the corner of Robert’s Reach Road and Highway 19A around 1 p.m. today.

“The first step that we always take when our system is damaged is we do need to get that gas under control before we can start the necessary repairs due to safety,” says Sean Beardow, FortisBC corporate communications manager. “Next we will be starting up repairs.”

Campbell River RCMP had closed off Highway 19A from Shopper’s Row to Dogwood Street as FortisBC crews got the leak under control.

It appears a line was struck during construction work on the empty lot at the corner of Robert’s Reach Road and Highway 19A.

Gas could be seen coming out of the ground near a pile of dirt close to the north-east sidewalk of the intersection.

Beardow says that at this time, it doesn’t look like any customers were affected by the strike, but they are still looking into that.

“If there’s any customers that have lost service due to the damage then once we’ve got repairs completed, we’ll go around to any home or business that had their service interrupted and relight all their appliances,” he says.

There’s currently no estimated finish time for the repairs.

At this point, Beardow says they don’t know if the crew that was doing the work on the lot called before they dug.

“The majority of the damages to our system are preventable,” he says. “Certainly if more folks called BC 1 Call and followed safe excavation practices, we estimate that we could probably avoid 90 per cent of the damage to our gas lines.”

More information about natural gas, FortisBC and best practices when it comes to excavating can be found on fortisbc.com.

ORIGINAL:

Campbell River RCMP are asking for patience from the public after gas leak has required downtown streets to be blocked off.

The leak is apparently around the Tyee Plaza/Roberts Reach/Highway 19A area. Traffic is being re-routed. Fortis is on the scene hoping to access a shut-off valve.

It appears that a line was hit during construction work in the area.

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A gas leak occurred at the corner of Robert’s Reach Road and Hwy. 19A on the afternoon of Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. An RCMP officer on scene said that a machine hit a gas line during construction. Fortis BC was on scene trying to get the line shut off. Photo by Marissa Tiel/Campbell River Mirror

A gas leak occurred at the corner of Robert’s Reach Road and Hwy. 19A on the afternoon of Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. An RCMP officer on scene said that a machine hit a gas line during construction. Fortis BC was on scene trying to get the line shut off. Photo by Marissa Tiel/Campbell River Mirror

A gas leak occurred at the corner of Robert’s Reach Road and Hwy. 19A on the afternoon of Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. An RCMP officer on scene said that a machine hit a gas line during construction. Fortis BC was on scene trying to get the line shut off. Photo by Marissa Tiel/Campbell River Mirror

RCMP had the area around Robert’s Reach Road closed for a gas leak in the afternoon on Jan. 29, 2020. Photo by Marissa Tiel/Campbell River Mirror