San Diego

‘We're scrambling': Construction Worker Struck Gas Line in Mission Hills

“It’s a little upsetting because we deal with patients that are in pain, and now, we’re literally completely shut down all day," Endodontist Brian Quesnell said.

Gas poured out after a construction worker struck a service line at Fort Stockton Drive and Hawk Street Friday morning, said SDG&E spokesperson Wes Jones.

The gas leak prompted house evacuations and forced business shutdowns that left some patients without dental care.

“It’s a little upsetting because we deal with patients that are in pain, and now, we’re literally completely shut down all day," Brian Quesnell said, an endodontist whose dental practice was closed down. "And so, we have all these people in pain and we can’t do anything about it.”

The incident took place around 10:12 a.m, SDFD spokesperson Monica Munoz said. The neighborhood is just to the southwest of the UC San Diego Medical Center.

A private school, St. Vincent de Paul, was sheltered in place as a result of the gas leak, SDPD Officer Tony Martinez said. The school is located on Ibis Street, just a block away from where the gas line ruptured.

There were various businesses shut down in the area. Quesnell lamented to NBC 7 that his patients were left in pain.

"We’re scrambling—we’re having people just showing up, so it’s wasting their time, and now that we have access to the schedule, we can actually call but it’s difficult," Quesnell added.

His phone was ringing off the hook as he spoke. 

"I'm getting mad frantic calls," Quesnell said. “The actual first time that we are actually shut down, and we have all these people in pain because we deal with people in pain. We do root canals, and it’s just—that’s the inconvenience.”

Some streets are currently blocked off in the area, according to SDFD. Those streets include W. Lewis Street, Montecito Way, Hawk Street, Fifth Street, Washington Street, Fort Stockton Drive, Goldfinch Street, Friars and Napa Street.

During the gas leak, a power outage also affected more than 1,700 residents in the area, according to SDG&E. There was no indication that the incidents were connected.

At 11:30 a.m., there were about 600 customers without power.

At 2:55 p.m., SDG&E officials said crews were already off the road, the gas leak had been contained, evacuations lifted, and they would be wrapping up with power restored by 6 p.m.

SDG&E is investigating the outage to determine the cause.

A construction crew that was working on the site of the gas leak told NBC 7 that expensive equipment was destroyed when the cement trucks were shut down. They explained their concrete big rigs need to circulate concrete. When shut off, the cement hardens and ruins the equipment.

The crews estimated it would cost at least $400,000 to replace all their equipment.

All evacuations were lifted by 3 p.m. SDG&E officials said the leak was contained, after three meters of the pipe were shut off.

Friday morning, a separate gas leak also affected the Del Cerro neighborhood of San Diego. No other information was immediately available.

Contact Us