At 9:05 a.m. today, TVF&R firefighters responded to simultaneous reports of a gas line rupture at a commercial building. Six people were reportedly exhibiting symptoms ranging from nausea to loss of consciousness.
When firefighters arrived at 9775 SW Gemini Drive in Beaverton, they found one patient on the ground and four additional patients complaining of nausea, vomiting, and chest pain. Firefighter paramedics began assessing and treating the patients at the scene. One patient was transported by Metro West Ambulance to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Employees in this situation did the right thing by evacuating the building at the first scent of natural gas and calling 911. Additional arriving firefighters ensured that the building had been safely evacuated. NW Natural technicians responded to repair the gas line, which ruptured after a contractor working nearby severed it. Technicians took air-quality readings to ensure there were no concentrations of natural gas left in the building prior to re-occupancy.
In its normal state, natural gas is odorless. For easy detection, NW Natural injects an odorant called mercaptan into the gas before it is inserted into the distribution system. Mercaptan gives off a foul smell, reminiscent of rotten eggs or sulfur. Any odor of natural gas inside your home or business may indicate a leak. If you SMELL rotten eggs, leave the area or GO and LET NW Natural know by calling 800-882-3377. If the situation is urgent, call 911 immediately.