Tacoma Gas Pipeline Break: Overzealous Alert Causes Unnecessary Panic

The Tacoma Fire Department issued an alert pertaining to a gas pipeline break on Wednesday, and it turned out to be overkill, with many citizens harried unnecessarily. As per media reports, a gas-line break prompted the Tacoma Fire Department to issue a shelter-in-place alert Wednesday morning.

The alert, which was sent to the phones of the residents, read,

“Broken gas pipeline in the area. The Hazmat team is monitoring air quality. Temporarily shelter in place unless told otherwise.”

The alert was given on Facebook by Tacoma Fire and said that the gas leak happened at South 4th Street and L Street at around 8:38 a.m.

The leak site is also close to other health centers like MultiCare Tacoma and Tacoma General, a daycare, and parking garages.

The gas leak was a result of construction work for the Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital. The alert was subsequently lifted after the leak was repaired. The gas-line break at the construction site happened when a third-party contractor hit the main pipeline, which caused it to rupture.

Puget Sound Energy was notified of the gas leak at 8:30 a.m., and the crew immediately repaired the rupture, and the leak was plugged at 9:50 a.m.

The temporary shelter-in-place alert was sent to the residents of Tacoma at 9:45 a.m. The alert was soon rescinded, and the Tacoma Fire clarified on Facebook that the alert was only meant for the residents living within one-quarter mile of the site. The Department later realized that the alert went far beyond the intended radius. The Department added that in the future, it will ensure that the alert was supposed to go to people within the danger zone.

The post read,

“We are now aware that the alert went far beyond the intended radius, and we are currently looking into what caused that to happen so we can avoid this in the future. We acknowledge that this error has had an impact on a large number of residents, organizations, and businesses, and for that, we sincerely apologize. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through our processes to ensure this does not occur again.”

Layton Construction, the project’s general contractor, said that an investigation has been launched into the incident and would issue a statement later in the day. The company also initiated its emergency plan after the gas leak.

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Manoj Nair

Manoj Nair: With a decade of news writing across various media platforms, Manoj is a seasoned professional. His dual role as an English teacher underscores his command over communication. He adeptly covers Politics, Technology, Crypto, and more, reflecting a broad and insightful perspective that engages and informs diverse audiences.

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