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Gas leak in Saanich, B.C. prompts evacuations, leaves 500 without service

Cloverdale Traditional Elementary School was evacuated due to a gas leak Wednesday. Cloverdale Traditional School

An elementary school and a number of buildings on Quadra Street in Saanich, B.C. were evacuated as a precaution Wednesday, as crews responded to a gas leak.

Fortis BC said the leak happened just after 2 p.m. in the 3300-block of Quadra Street, when a third party struck a gas main.

“Our crews are working on the necessary repairs to our system and as a result, there are about 500 customers without gas service in the area,” FortisBC spokesperson Laura Lea said in an email.

“Our technicians are also onsite and once we complete repairs, they will go around to each affected home and relight appliances for customers. They will work into evening to restore service to as many customers as possible and return in the morning to continue this work for the remaining customers.”

The Greater Victoria School District said students were evacuated from Cloverdale Traditional Elementary due to a “construction incident” on Quadra Street, and were mustering in the back field to be picked up by their parents.

The evacuation, which initially included several nearby buildings, was later expanded to cover Quadra Street from the Cook/Cloverdale intersection to Holmes Street, the city said in an update, and the road was also closed to traffic.

The evacuations were lifted shortly before 6 p.m.

The District of Saanich said the gas line was unmarked, and there were no reports of injuries.

“Crews worked quickly to assess the scene and evacuate the vicinity. A small fire in a nearby residence also occurred and has since been extinguished,” it said.

Evacuees were being directed to a reception centre had been established at the Cedar Hills Golf Club.

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