Gas line break leaves Crested Butte residents without gas |

Gas line break leaves Crested Butte residents without gas

CRESTED BUTTE ” About 1,700 people in the Crested Butte area were without natural gas Thursday after a pipeline south of town ruptured and blew out 30 feet of guardrail along the highway.

Gunnison County Emergency Manager Scott Morrill said the explosion around 4 p.m. also sent rocks and dirt flying along Colorado 135.

No one was injured, but the highway roughly 230 miles west of Denver was closed for about two hours.

Traffic was a problem for a while because the accident happened just as people were leaving the Crested Butte ski area, Morrill said.

Xcel Energy, which owns the line and sells the gas to Atmos Energy, sent crews and contractors to repair the 4-inch line. Xcel Energy spokeswoman Ethnie Groves said the utility hoped to restore gas service by midnight.

Groves said the company was trying to determine what caused the break.

Atmos Energy spokeswoman Karen Wilkes said the company has about 2,000 customers in the area. She said Atmos was able to capture enough gas to keep 300 customers supplied.

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