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Venting Gas Causes Loud Commotion

DICKSON CITY — It was a very noisy morning in part of Lackawanna County. A relief valve at a natural gas compressor station in Dickson City opened and the...
dc gas leak

DICKSON CITY -- It was a very noisy morning in part of Lackawanna County. A relief valve at a natural gas compressor station in Dickson City opened and the sound of gas venting was deafening.

UGI says it's still trying to figure out why it happened.

The sound was deafening around 8 a.m. Monday, just off Main Street in Dickson City. It sounded like a jet engine a big one, a loud one.

UGI tells us a relief valve in a compressor station blew, just like it's supposed to if pressure builds in the system.

Suresh Patel was working at the Convenient Food Mart, just across Main Street.

"Too much noise, and nothing, not hearing anything too much."

Patel saw the police and the firefighters, and the gas company employees  plus that noise. He knew it was serious.

Dale Shaffer was pumping gas nearby.

"It just sounded like a cork popping and all of a sudden, you could hear the air and I walked over and you could see white smoke in the air."

But it wasn't smoke. It was natural gas, from a pressure relief valve on a 16-inch line, according to Dickson City's fire chief.

If anything, time was on their side when the valve blew. According to police and the emergency management agency, they didn't have to evacuate any businesses because they had yet to open for the day.

CVS did open a little late, and part of Main Street in Dickson City was closed for about 90 minutes.

The Lackawanna County Emergency Management Agency says the public was never in any danger.

"Luckily today there was a pretty still breeze, so it dissipated pretty quickly and it broke up to the point it wasn't any danger," said deputy EMA director Rich Barbolish.

Once the valve reset and the release stopped, it was back to normal in this part of Lackawanna County.

UGI says no one lost service, and no mains were shut down due to this morning's incident.