WDAY: The News Leader

Published June 09, 2010, 09:10 AM

Train traffic stalled after a construction crew hit a gas line in Moorhead

Moorhead, Minn. (WDAY TV) - You won’t hear about this very often. Train traffic not allowed into town. It happened on Moorhead's east side. No one was injured. A contractor doing road construction on 20th street hit a gas line, but it was no ordinary pipe.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

It usually takes Xcel Energy just a few minutes to pinch off a hit gas line. It is usually a plastic pipe, but this one is a 2-inch steel pipe which is why it took more people and time to solve the problem.

For three hours, crews from Xcel worked to safely pinch off and shut down and solve this gas leak problem to this area of 20th Street south in Moorhead. Because the wind was blowing the gas across the track, BNSF trains were not allowed into town. 3 apartment buildings were left without gas, but the alternative was to shut the gas off at a central location.

“We do have system valves around town and this could impact a much larger area of the community, but we have state of the art technology. We can use squeeze off devices and be able to contain a short area and limit the amount of customers affected.”

Anytime there is a struck gas line, both the contractor and Xcel send out their safety officers to investigate. There was no disruption to car traffic because 20th Street is shut down for construction.