At about 10:00 AM, Friday, June 05, 2009, Prince George’s County Firefighters were alerted to a release of natural gas at a large government campus. Fire/EMS units responded to the Census Bureau Headquarters at 4600 Silver Hill Road in Suitland and discovered a piece of construction equipment operating in the area of the North Garage struck and broke a 4-inch natural gas line. The site is a secure federal property and houses several buildings of various sizes and occupancies. Firefighters are checking nearby buildings and taking atmospheric readings and have determined that the product is not entering the federal office buildings. The employees are not in any danger and have been instructed to “shelter-in-place” until the release of natural gas is contained. One building near the release site has been evacuated of the 30 employees and they have moved over to another building.
The Washington Gas Company is on location and should have the gas line crimped momentarily. At that point the emergency will be over and operations at the facility will return to normal.