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The construction boom in Southeast results in broken gas lines every month; here's the latest one

DAVID F. ASHTON - PF&R firefighters laid out protection water lines, should the gas escaping from the pavement ignite - while NW Natural Gas workers were getting busy with the repair of the ruptured pipe. Traffic was disrupted for several hours along S.E. Cesar Chavez Boulevard (the former 39th), when a gas line was cut, a half block west of the thoroughfare on Liebe Street, on Wednesday morning, July 24.

When Woodstock Station 25's Engine Company arrived at 10:20 a.m. that morning, the crew clearly heard the whistle of escaping natural gas – and they parked their rig so as to block off Chavez Boulevard.

The smell of "methyl mercaptan" – that's the "rotten egg smell" warning odorant that's added to natural gas – hung heavy in the air.

NW Natural Gas workers arrived just after 10:30 a.m. to evaluate the problem, and to begin what became a long process of plugging the severed gas line – a mishap which officials said had occurred during excavation in the area.


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