Ninilchik gas line ruptures, residents evacuate

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Tuesday, September 1, 2015 11:32pm
  • News

Editor’s note: This article has been changed to correct an error. 

An ENSTAR Natural Gas pipeline ruptured Tuesday afternoon, closing roads and forcing local businesses and Ninilchik School students and staff to evacuate.

The accident occurred at 2:33 p.m., near mile 136 of the Sterling Highway in Ninilchik, according to an Alaska State Troopers dispatch. The evacuation and road closures were lifted after nearly 25 minutes.

“Ninilchik Emergency Services located the ruptured line and sealed it off pending repair by ENSTAR Natural Gas,” the dispatch reads.

The roughly 20 staff and 140 students at Ninilchik School were relocated to the Ninilchik Fairgrounds, one of the school’s nearest safety points, once troopers informed administration an evacuation was required, said school district spokesperson Pegge Erkeneff. Busses were already en route to pick students up, since the school days ends at 3:15 p.m., and a few were delayed at the fairgrounds while waiting for the northbound road to reopen, she said.

“Everything went really smooth,” Erkeneff said. “Everyone did a really good job.”

By 4 p.m., ENSTAR was working on repairing the line, according to the trooper dispatch.

“No additional damage or any injuries were reported,” the dispatch reads.

—Kelly Sullivan

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