Gas Line Explodes, Area Evacuated
A gas line explodes and catches fire causing damage to nearby businesses, a home and a road in Candler. It happened just before 4 p.m. Friday on Sand Hill Road near the Jacob Holms plant. The fire lead to evacuations and power outages. No injuries were reported.
Fire officials tell News 13 a 12-inch pipe flowing at an estimated 500 psi ruptured. They also say it was the main line, which is why there was a massive fire and threat to the community. It happened right in front of Smith Dray Line and Jacob Holmes.
When crews arrived on scene, they immediately began cooling near by structures and making sure the fire didn't get out of control. Because with a gas line rupture the only way to put it out is to shut off the gas. Which is exactly what PSNC did.
Officials were going door to door to let people know if they needed to evacuate. The evacuees were taken to Enka Baptist Church. Nearly 1,000 power outages were also reported.
At around 5:50 p.m., the Asheville Fire Department confirms that the fire was put out and the gas has been shut off in the area.
Fire officials say residents evacuated in the Sand Hill Road area are now being allowed to return to their homes.
The cause of the rupture is still being investigated.
The NCDOT says the latest Sand Hill Road could reopen is Sunday. It all depends on how fast PSNC Energy repairs the line and Saturday's weather.
In an effort to avoid possible loss of residential gas service, PSNC Energy urges customers in the Western Buncombe, Madison, Swain, Jackson and Haywood counties to conserve gas use during the overnight repair period. Once the repair work is completed, PSNC Energy will begin working to restore natural gas service to the affected customers.