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Some Evacuations Lifted After Grand Junction Explosion

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An image of the fire caused by the explosion (credit: KREX)

An image of the fire caused by the explosion (credit: KREX)

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (CBS4)- Some families have been allowed to return home but others remain evacuated after a punctured gas line in Grand Junction caused a home to explode on Tuesday.

Some evacuees returned to their home on Thursday. The evacuation for homes south of Mesa Ave. has been lifted. Homes facing 7th St. between Orchard Ave. and Mesa Ave. are still evacuated at this time.

The evacuee hotline will be staffed until midnight Thursday and will be staffed again Friday beginning at 6:00 a.m. The hotline is 970-549-5130.

Xcel Energy said the gas line was so pressurized that it shot gas under the road and around homes. There was so much gas that crews were still detecting dangerously high levels on the road and around some homes.

The gas got into the ground and sewer system after a subcontractor for the city drilled into a gas transmission line while attempting to install a conduit under the road for a new traffic signal.

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For the next couple weeks, anyone who returns to their home needs to continue monitoring their toilets and drains, as part of the process for ventilating the gas out of the sewer system may have an effect on the sewer lines in the house. For example, if residents notice their toilets are not functioning properly, such as the water draining on its own or not refilling after being flushed, they should call 911 to report it. Also, if they smell any gas they should call 911 to report it.

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The city said there is an investigation under way with a range of agencies, not just to find out how the house exploded, but how the subcontracting crew was able to rupture the line.

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