Airtron

Mock gas line strike offers real-life training

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Crews work April 19 at the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds to show what happens when a gas line is accidentally struck. (Submitted photo)

There was no cause for alarm in Noblesville when a buried natural gas line was hit by accident – because it was all a planned safety exercise.

Noblesville first responders, gas utility employees and excavators participated in a mock line strike scenario last month at the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds to show what happens when an underground gas line is hit accidentally.

The scenario focused on the need to call Indiana811 prior to digging, in order to get underground utilities located and flagged.

The program was done by Enertech, Indiana811 and the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.

Indiana811 said while it’s the law for excavators digging 12 inches deep or more to call 811, homeowners who are doing something as mundane as planting a tree or putting in a fence or mailbox should also call the free service.

According to the Common Ground Alliance, a nonprofit that promotes nationwide underground safety, a buried utility is struck every six minutes in the United States.

Hitting a gas line can result inconveniences like losing internet service, but it can also result in injury or death.

Those who plan to dig should call 811. Within 48 hours, the buried lines at a proposed dig site will be marked at no cost. Indiana811 also can be reached at indiana811.org.


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