Skip to Content

Large East Side Gas Line Spews Fumes, Dirt And Snarls Traffic

Teenage twins Elizabeth and Lizbeth Garcia were at the orthodontist Monday afternoon in east El Paso when they were suddenly asked to evacuate the building by staff.

“I was scared, they just told us there was an emergency,” said 13-year-old Lizbeth Garcia.

The twins and their mom walked to a safe area near Gateway Boulevard east and Giles Road. Several businesses there were evacuated after a big gas line break.

According to the El Paso Fire Department, a 5-inch gas line belonging to the Texas Gas Service broke after an unidentified construction company hit it while digging in the area.

Clouds of dusty-looking, rotten-smelling gas billowed out of the line for hours, prompting officials to ask drivers in the area to turn off their cars. Air samples indicated that the gas was at ‘combustible levels.’

Authorities jumped to contain potential dangers. Del Sol Medical Center, which is across the freeway from the rupture, stopped admitting patients for about an hour.

Interstate-10 East was shut down for about 3 hours at two different spots: U.S. 54 near Copia and at the Hawkins exit. Traffic was at a grid-lock right before rush hour. The freeway was re-opened at about 6:50 p.m.

The Texas Gas Service eventually shut down the gas line.

No one was seriously hurt, although Fire Department officials said 20 patients from a rehabilitation center were evacuated using a Sun Metro bus to a safer location, three Texas Gas Service employees were treated for gas inhalation, a 40-year-old woman was hospitalized after being evacuated from her home.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo



KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content