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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys

Odor Blamed on Work on Gas Lines

November 15, 2000|RICHARD FAUSSET

The smell of natural gas early Tuesday morning alarmed a number of residents in parts of Sherman Oaks and Van Nuys, but gas company and fire officials said it was the harmless result of routine work on nearby gas lines.

The Los Angeles Fire Department received numerous calls regarding the odor starting about 7 a.m., spokesman Bob Collis said. By 8 a.m., the strong smell led administrators at Riverside Drive Elementary School in Sherman Oaks to evacuate students from school buildings for 10 or 15 minutes until they received assurances from fire personnel.

Cathy Maguire, a spokeswoman for the Southern California Gas Co., said that between 7:05 and 7:30 a.m., workers were purging excess gas from an old line in the Sepulveda Dam area, in order to connect a new line. She said the routine maintenance work was not hazardous to residents.

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