News

Update: Menlo Park gas main break repaired

A gas main damaged by a backhoe was repaired about 30 minutes after the leak occurred, according to the Menlo Park Police Department.

Police and firefighters from the Menlo Park Fire Protection District responded to the scene in the 1300 block of University Drive in Menlo Park shortly after noon today (April 18).

"Affected parties" were evacuated, according to a police bulletin issued online at 12:18 p.m.

Repairs were quickly completed and no one was injured. Police Cmdr. Dave Bertini said that as long as a leak vents into the air, as this one did, there is little danger.

"It gets explosive in enclosed spaces," he said.

- Almanac staff writers Sandy Brundage and Dave Boyce

Comments

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Apr 18, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

A very impressive response:
4/18/2014 11:55:10 AM (32 min)
MNF141080004
FS6 Menlo Park Fire
Gas main break full assignment
1320 UNIVERSITY DR ,MNP
BC1, E1, E4, PAE61, PT1


Posted by Louise68, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 18, 2014 at 4:37 pm

Good job, MP Fire Department!

Sure looks as though someone id NOT call 811, as the PG&E asks people to do BEFORE they dig: Web Link

SO glad no one was hurt and no property was damaged, but that could easily have happened.

Call 811 before you dig! Please!


Posted by sunshine1, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 18, 2014 at 4:50 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Posted by Louise68, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 18, 2014 at 5:03 pm

Almanac:

Please, in the future, quote only comments from qualified people. A police commander is not trained or qualified to comment on the subject of the dangers of a natural gas leak. Why not interview a professional who is experienced with natural gas issues? And if there was no danger, why did the police order people to evacuate?


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 18, 2014 at 6:52 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Louise:

a police commander isn't trained? And you know this because? Because you know what police officer training in Menlo Park consists of? I didn't think so. In the future keep your ignorant comments to yourself. Thanks.


Posted by Louise68, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 19, 2014 at 1:44 pm

Menlo Voter --
I objected to the Almanac choosing to quote a police commander, and not a professional who works with natural gas on a daily basis, because there is no way any police officer can have anywhere near the experience and training of a professional who works on a daily basis in the field of natural gas.

How is my demand "parading my ignorance"?

I admit that I am not familiar with the training that our fine police officers get here in Menlo Park, but they are not pros in the field of natural gas. That is not their job. I presume the police followed the direction of some natural-gas professional -- or just common sense -- in ordering the evacuation. But for the police commander to say (and I am assuming he was quoted correctly, which may not be correct). The following is a direct quote from the article: that "as long as a leak vents into the air, as this one did, there is little danger. "It gets explosive in enclosed spaces," he said." Ummmm...please tell that to the people in San Bruno. That statement by that police commander is simply not correct -- or the explosion in San Bruno would not have happened.

My original question still remains unanswered: If there really was "little danger" --- why did the police order an evacuation?

I am very glad they did order that evacuation -- very glad. Good job, Menlo park Police Department! AND good job, PG&E, too!


Posted by L2R, a resident of another community
on Apr 19, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Pipe leak underground is a leak in "enclosed space" i.e. why San Bruno exploded.

"Little danger" doesn't mean none. You evacuate in an abundance of caution. Stop mindlessly bashing the cops.


Posted by Joe, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Apr 19, 2014 at 7:27 pm

I am not a natural gas professional, but I can see the common wisdom in the police officer's statement as to the lack of danger when natural gas is venting to the air, provided the source of the leaking gas is being guarded until the professionals arrive to shut it off.

It's basic physics. To have an explosion, you need containment of the explosive substance. Venting it to the atmosphere is the opposite of containment.


Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Apr 19, 2014 at 7:40 pm

Louise:

where do you think that commander got his information? From the easter bunny? Do you think he might have conferred with "gas professionals?"

As other posters have noted, his statement was correct. And the police did what they should do.


Posted by lisa, a resident of another community
on Apr 21, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Bulletin was issued at 12:18 pm. Almanac published report at 12:31 pm. They did a stellar job of reporting important news in a mere 13 minutes.

A police officer who is familiar with the specific incident is the fastest and most reliable source.

"An interview with a gas professional"? Not so much.

Hooray for local journalism.


Posted by SteveC, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 21, 2014 at 2:56 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

Personally, Menlo Voter is correct, but I think the Easter Bunny did help out!


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