Repairs on Hebei gas line completed

Updated: 2013-11-25 01:18

By ZHENG JINRAN in Xingtai, Hebei (China Daily)

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Repairs on Hebei gas line completed

Taxis wait for the supply of natural gas to resume near a gas station in Xingtai, Hebei province, on Sunday. The supply was cut off after a major gas pipeline was damaged early that day. Huang Tao / for China Daily

A ruptured natural gas pipeline in Xingtai, Hebei province, was repaired on Sunday afternoon with no casualties reported, local authorities said.

The natural gas supply was cut after the major pipeline, about 1 meter in diameter, was damaged early on Sunday, seriously affecting household heating and cooking downstream in the city.

The natural gas transmission trunk was damaged at the border of Neiqiu and Longyao counties in Hebei, near an expressway under construction.

Neiqiu is under the jurisdiction of Xingtai, which has a population of about 7 million.

Expressway construction workers reported the accident to police and firefighters, saying they heard a hissing sound at around 2 am.

The public security and fire departments rushed to the site. Hebei Natural Gas Co Ltd also sent a professional team to plug the leaking hole.

They cut off the gas supply for safety reasons.

As a result, about 130,000 households in Xingtai and downstream users in Handan, a southern city of Hebei, were affected.

The pipeline was fixed by noon, and the gas supply will be resumed gradually, said Sun Zongxin, an official from the publicity department of Xingtai .

“The pipeline was damaged by someone digging for sand,” Sun said.

Large, deep holes were 20 to 30 meters away from the expressway construction site, a China Daily reporter found.

The search for whoever dug the sand and damaged the gas line is continuing.

Sun said that the site of the gas line rupture is part of the field used by the expressway project.

But Ge Jincheng, the official in charge of the ongoing construction of the expressway, a major traffic line in Hebei province, denied that in an interview with China Daily. Ge said the spot was outside the walled field where raw construction materials are stored.

Ge said the investigation is ongoing. No surveillance camera was on the site, he said, adding that villagers sometimes secretly dug sand at night to sell.

Wang Ge contributed to this story.