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Gas leak follow-up

Oct. 6. By Dave Vieser. The precise cause of the major gas leak on Sept. 20 at Alexander Farm remains under investigation over two weeks after the incident. Mecklenburg County officials are not investigating what happened—leaving it all in the hands of Piedmont Natural Gas.

“The county fire marshal office was at the scene and provided the necessary support during the incident,” County spokeswoman Pam Escobar said. “However, since there was no fire, the Fire Marshal says they will not be conducting an investigation.”

What happened

The incident occurred at approximately 2:30 pm on the old Alexander Farm property, where grading for the 55-acre mixed-use development is under way.

A 10-inch Piedmont steel transmission line installed in 1959 was ruptured causing a high pressure, roaring flow of gas. Westmoreland was closed as well as nearby parks.

Piedmont Gas Spokesman Zach Vavricka said the company’s crews worked with emergency responders to safely secure the site.

“The damaged section of the line was located, and repairs and final adjustments made the next day. Piedmont is now investigating whether the contractor had a valid location ticket prior to digging,” Vavricka said.