Washington Gas workers have begun relighting appliances in houses that were affected by a leak in a natural gas line that spewed gas into a Germantown neighborhood for hours Thursday, forcing some families to evacuate and others to stay inside their homes.
All homes should have gas service restored by the end of the day Friday, according to Washington Gas spokesman Ruben Rodriguez.
The break occurred at about 11 a.m. Thursday on a gas line near Scenery Drive and Brandermill Drive in Germantown, affecting about 240 families. Fire and Washington Gas officials have alternately reported the break in a 12-inch line and an 8-inch gas line.
The break had been caused by an independent contractor performing “directional drilling,” Rodriguez said.
Photos posted of the break showed a cloud of vaporized gas and dirt on the deserted street.
“That pressure was pushing up through 5 or 6 feet of dirt,” Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Asst. Chief Scott Graham said.
In the zone where the gas was flammable, anything as mundane as flipping a light switch or ringing a doorbell could have caused the gas to ignite, Graham said.
“That’s why we hurried up and canvassed the neighborhood with our personnel to make sure none of that happened,” he said.