Crews find source of leak after gas explosion in Gilbert - FOX 35 News Orlando

Crews find source of leak after gas explosion in Gilbert

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GILBERT, Ariz. -

A quiet Gilbert neighborhood was rocked by an explosion on Sunday. 

One man was burned as a result and nearly two dozen homes were evacuated as a precaution -- up until Tuesday, at least six remained that way.

It happened in the area of Val Vista and Warner on Palomino Street.  Now we're learning progress has been made in identifying what exactly happened.

The loud siren-like noise that filled the air on Palomino Street Tuesday morning was coming from a piece of equipment -- a horn -- Southwest Gas used to rid the area of natural gas.

Inspectors worked through the night to evacuate residual gas, isolating the source of the leak.

"They found it was two feeder strings that run across the street south of Palomino," said Division Chief Brian Ruffentine of the Gilbert Fire Department.

Ruffentine explained they would spend the day cutting concrete, removing asphalt and soil still saturated with gas -- a relief to residents who live nearby.

"We have a better idea of what is going on," said Edward Ray.

Danika Bustillo added, "I kinda worry that if it hadn't been for the explosion, there would have been more gas leaks."

Southwest Gas has been testing the entire area ever since the gas explosion Sunday.  Not just the air, but they're also testing the ground, putting special equipment into the dirt to see if there's any evils of gas there.

"There's a risk whenever there's a reading for the natural levels of the explosiveness of the natural gas and that's why we keep monitoring and testing, along with Southwest Gas," said Ruffentine.

Once the gas is gone, potential risk of another explosion, says Ruffentine, will most likely be eliminated.  With that, investigators will take over, most likely testing the pipe removed to determine why this leak happened.

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