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Methane Gas Leak; Dozens Evacuated

Posted on September 16, 2013

City of Los Angeles street sign for Imperial H...

Monday saw crews finish capping a South Bay well leaking methane gas that has forced dozens of residents to leave their homes.

The well is located on Imperial Highway in Hawthorne, and Golden State Water workers were in the process of capping it when an a water-gas mixture flowed out unexpectedly, according to the company.

Almost 40 families in surrounding homes have been forced to evacuate and been put op at local hotels by Golden State Water. The gas is highly flammable.

“When are we gonna be back? How safe is it? It’s scary because I have a 2-year-old,” one resident said.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the Glenn Anderson (105) Freeway from Crenshaw Boulevard and the San Diego (405) Freeway, in addition to the transition roads from the 405 to the eastbound 105 were shut down for a little while. All roads were reopened by 11:20 a.m.

The colorless and odorless gas also has the ability to ignite flash fires, fire officials said.

Crews pumped mud into the well and the water ceased spouting at approximately 11 a.m. The well will eventually be covered with concrete.

It has not yet been determined when families will be allowed to return to their homes.

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