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NorthWestern Energy on the scene of hit gas line in Missoula

NorthWestern Energy
Posted at 5:04 PM, Jul 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-20 22:48:28-04

MISSOULA — UPDATE 6:42 PM

A gas line ignited in the South Hills area of Missoula on Monday afternoon, evacuating dozens on Skyview Drive, according to NorthWestern Energy.

According to Missoula Fire officials on the scene, the incident happened when a contracted company drilling for Northwestern struck an unlocated gas line that was near an identified line.

Besides an electrical junction box, there was no real damage according to officials on the scene.

There are also no injuries.

According to a Fire Inspector on the scene, the incident is "pretty rare".

"Usually, what happens the gas is spewing out of the line and then NorthWestern comes in pinches the line off and then everything is good and then they repair it but this one somehow caught on fire and was basically igniting some things around it," said fire inspector Jason Hedahl.

Fire and Northwestern crews had the scene under control in around 45 minutes.

ORIGINAL STORY - JULY 20 6:45 PM

Dozens of residents in the South Hills neighborhood are without gas and electricity after a gas line was hit Monday afternoon.

NorthWestern Energy spokesperson Jo Dee Black tells MTN News they were dispatched around 4:00 pm for a hit gas line on Skyview Drive.

A two-inch plastic line was cut as well as underground electrical.

Gas and electricity are shut off in that area as crews work to fix the break.

Black said about 38 gas customers and about 155 electric customers are impacted by the hit line.

Black also said at this time they are investigating how the line got cut.

NWE expects to have an update later tonight.