A day after a high-pressure gas line rupture forced nearby businesses to shut down and residents to temporarily vacate their midtown homes, officials investigating the matter have yet to determine what caused the incident.
Oklahoma Natural Gas spokeswoman Cherokee Ballard said late Friday that 155 gas meters at homes and businesses remained without service following Thursday’s 16-inch gas line rupture, which affected service to customers within a 3-mile radius of 21st Street and Memorial Drive.
“We are still working to repair services to businesses and homes,” Ballard said. “Our crews will be working over the weekend.”
The Oklahoma Corporation Commission will investigate the cause and circumstances surrounding the gas leak and explosion in the 2200 block of South Memorial Drive about 3 p.m. Thursday. A Corporation Commission spokesman declined to provide detailed information while the investigation remains ongoing.
The cause of the rupture in the high-pressure gas line remains unknown, officials said. Early reports to authorities indicated that a truck had struck the gas line, but those reports were unsubstantiated, with Ballard saying that information “didn’t come from us.”
Tulsa police said they didn’t locate any wrecked vehicles at the scene, and a Corporation Commission spokesman said there was no information to support that theory.
Characterizing the event as an “incident,” Ballard said ONG would be “looking at all aspects to determine exactly what happened.” No timetable was provided for when its investigation would conclude.
City officials said Oklahoma Natural Gas had an ongoing project in the area, but they were unable to provide details about the project.
Electric power was cut in the area temporarily Thursday to prevent electrical sources from igniting the gas as ONG crews worked to stop the leak. Crews were able to cap and stop the leak late Thursday and then allowed residents to return to their homes.
ONG posted a statement on its website Friday, indicating that crews “worked overnight and continue to work in the area of 21st and Memorial.”
“We appreciate everyone’s patience as we work as safely and as quickly as possible on repairs so that we can begin the restoration process to get the gas turned back on for all of our impacted customers,” ONG officials said in a prepared statement. “As information becomes available, we will provide updates.”
At 5 p.m. Friday, ONG said its workers were “continuing our restoration work and will visit every home or business tonight that has been affected by the outage. You do not need to call us to come turn your service back on unless we have a left a tag on your door.”
Customers who need service can leave a porch light on, Ballard said. If the customer is not home, a technician will leave a green tag on the door. “It is just a matter of getting it done,” Ballard said.