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Gas Leak in Venice Causes Evacuation of 50 homes, Loss of Gas Service to 60 homes

Deliberate Tampering had been suspected, but could not be confirmed


November 3, 2017

KCAL 9 News

Aerial View from KCAL 9 news helicopter shows the Venice backyard where the line failed and the gas leak occurred.

LA Firemen responded about 1:35 p.m. Monday, to a report of a natural gas leak in the area before the containers were found at 2013 S. Walgrove Ave., near Palms Boulevard, said Margaret Stewart of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

"When they arrived, they identified what they believed was a tampered gas meter, and there were some unidentified items near that meter," Det. Meghan Aguilar told reporters Monday night. It was not immediately clear whether the line had been tampered with or simply failed.

A bomb squad was summoned, as were SoCalGas workers, but the leak was later determined to .

As a precaution, 50 surrounding homes were evacuated. Walgrove was closed to traffic between Vienna Way and Victoria Avenue. Glencove Avenue was also closed, from Victoria Avenue to Vienna Way, Stewart said.

A gas company crew closed off the severed line and dug until they reached a shut-off valve. The valve was closed at about 8 p.m., which also interrupted gas service to about 60 homes in the surrounding area, said gas company spokesman Chris Gilbride.

The premises were declared safe about 10 p.m. and the evacuations were lifted, according to Officer Mike Lopez of the LAPD's Media Relations Section.

An evacuation center was set up at the Penmar Recreation Center at 1341 Lake St. for displaced residents, but less than 10 people used it, Stewart said.

The gas company said it would restore service to affected customers by 8 a.m. Tuesday morning.


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