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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Truck Damages Gas Meter Forcing Evacuation of Shopping Center

At about 12:45 PM, Wednesday, June 2, 2010, firefighters from the Oxon Hill area were alerted to a natural gas leak at a strip shopping center. A tractor-trailer had backed into the exterior gas meter attached to a liquor store in the 3200 block of Brinkley Road in Temple Hills. The liquor store is 1 of 16 stores in the 1-story L-shaped strip shopping center.

When the truck hit the gas meter the piping broke and allowed natural gas to escape. When firefighters arrived they found evidence of natural gas on the exterior as well as the interior of some of the stores. Firefighters exercised all necessary precautions and ordered the evacuation of the entire shopping center. One of the storefronts evacuated was a day care center. Approximately 30 children were re-located to a nearby day care center.

Washington Gas Company officials arrived within 30 minutes and terminated the free flow of natural gas. Firefighters then ventilated the stores and ensured a safe environment before allowing the stores to be re-occupied at about 2:30 pm. There were no reports of any injuries.