(Victoria Buzz)

UPDATE:

At around 5:25 p.m. FortisBC crews had put together a repair plan and set it in motion.

Approximately 500 customers were without natural gas supply while repairs were underway. During this time the evacuation order was lifted and people were able to return to their homes.

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Quadra Street continued to be closed to traffic while repairs commenced.

Repairs were finished around 8:25 p.m. FortisBC crews then had the task of restoring gas-supplied appliances to working order. They continue to do so throughout Thursday morning until all customers have been assisted.

—original:

Saanich Fire Department, Saanich Police and FortisBC responded to a gas leak on Quadra Street on Wednesday afternoon that has continued to escalate since its beginning. 

“At approximately 2:00 p.m. on January 25th, the Saanich Fire Department responded to an incident in the 3400-block of Quadra Street where an unmarked gas line was hit resulting in a gas leak,” said a District of Saanich spokesperson. 

“Crews worked quickly to assess the scene and evacuate the vicinity.” 

Following the discovery of the gas leak, a fire ignited nearby which was quickly brought under control because fire crews were nearby.

“No injuries have been reported and Saanich Fire is working to ensure evacuees are supported and the area is safe,” said the Saanich spokesperson.

People in adjacent buildings to the site of the gas leak have now been evacuated and some people in the surrounding area have reported power outages. 

“Right now crews are still on site and they are working on a repair plan,” said Lauren Lea, a FortisBC’s media spokesperson. “But we don’t yet have a timeline for when repairs will be completed.”

“Once our crews determine more of a repair plan we may have a better understanding of when the repairs will be able to be started and completed.”

Traffic delays remain in effect along Quadra Street between Inverness Avenue and Cloverdale Avenue. Saanich Police are asking people to avoid the area and for motorists to plan alternate routes.

Almost an hour and a half after crews initially responded to the gas leak, Saanich Emergency Program tweeted that a comfort centre would be available to evacuees at the Cedar Hill Golf Course. 

This situation is ongoing and this article may be subject to changes as more information becomes available.

The District of Saanich said their next update will come via their social media channels around 8 p.m. on Wednesday, January 25th. 

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