Crew ruptures gas line near preschool

Nearly 100 preschool children in San Jose were evacuated Monday¬†afternoon when a construction crew working on rebuilding the school’s playground ruptured a gas line, a fire captain said.

The crew was working on the playground at Merryhill Preschool & Elementary School at 750 N. Capitol Ave. near the intersection with Mabury Road when they hit a 1-inch plastic gas line at just before 4 p.m., San Jose fire Capt. Mitch Matlow said.

San Jose police and firefighters helped evacuate the 91 children at the school to the far side of the campus and out of danger, where they waited under the shade of some large pine trees for PG&E crews to stop the gas leak, Matlow said.

PG&E crews had the gas leak shut off by just before 5 p.m., PG&E spokesman Nick Smith said.

Repairs on the line are expected to be complete around 6:30 p.m., Matlow said. Once PG&E has repaired the line and restored gas service to the surrounding area, the utility will have to begin plans to move the line so it doesn’t run under a playground, he said.

PG&E asks that anyone doing any digging work call 811 to make sure any gas lines in the area are marked to avoid a rupture, Smith said.