San Diego fire and police personnel and SDG&E quickly responded on Friday May 30 at around 10:10 a.m. to a gas-line rupture.
The gas could be smelled and heard all up and down the alley and on both parallel streets. The rupture took place at the site of a construction remodel job. The work was being done at 4131 Mississippi Street, about a half block south of the Lafayette Hotel and on the alley side of the structure. SDG&E crew ran a jackhammer in the alley to get at the gas line.
The police blocked off the alley at the north end. A fire truck was sent up the south end. There were two RSVP (retired volunteer police) cars blocking Polk between Louisiana and Mississippi. There were three fire trucks, a fire supervisor truck, at least two police cars, and a motorcycle cop.
The KUSI camera operator showed up and did a field interview with one of the firefighters who stated that there was no immediate danger, the gas had been shut off, and it was probably a half-inch-diameter line.
However, during the interview, I certainly thought that I could still hear the gas hissing out of the ground. The noise from the gas and the vehicles was so loud that I couldn't hear the firefighter being interviewed without being close up.
There has also been new construction in progress across the alley from the incident on the Louisiana side at 4123, where a single family dwelling had been removed for the building of new condos or apartments. The work had to be halted this morning.
Unfortunately, all of this took place on trash-collection day, and the motorcycle police officer confirmed that trash trucks would not be allowed to pass to pick up in the alley as usual. According to the officers on site, the alley access would be blocked for about two hours.