Contract workers hit unmarked gas line installing Google Fiber

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- West Shore Group, a contracting company working in the area of 50th and Central on Saturday, said one of its contractors hit an 'unlocated' gas line, which forced the evacuation of residents of nearby condominiums.

Gary Sims with West Shore, said the workers were laying fiber for another company, Atlantic Engineering Group for Google Fiber. (Read the statement from a Google spokesperson below.)

Residents of Kirkwood Condominums were allowed to return home two hours after the gas line ruptured. Gas was shut off while Missouri Gas and Energy worked to find the source of the leak on Saturday.

The condominums, located near 50th and Central in Kansas City, Mo., are just blocks away from JJ's Restaurant, which was recently destroyed in a gas explosion that killed one woman and injured 15 others.

On Saturday around 3:15 p.m., someone reported smelling gas at the condominiums. Firefighters called a second alarm after detecting levels of gas at the Kirkwood condos. The condos and some nearby town homes were quickly evacuated.

"In light of what we had happened a few weeks ago [at JJ's Restaurant], we want to make sure we dot every i and cross every t to make sure our citizens are in a safe area," said James Garrett, public information officer for the Kansas City, Mo., fire department.

No fires or injuries were reported. Residents who were evacuated were offered rides and/or shelter from the cold on metro buses. Shortly before 7:30 p.m. residents were allowed back into their homes, however some were without heat as crews continue to search for the break in the gas line.

Sims said his company has been digging in the area for about a week. He said all the markings have been correct, but says the company contracted to mark the lines might have missed this one.

"Around 3 p.m. local time on Saturday, a subcontractor working to install conduit for Google Fiber damaged a gas line. The problem was promptly identified, and the line was closed and capped. We’re sorry for any inconvenience and worry this may have caused," said a Google spokesperson

5PM Report:

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