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Evacuated Hawthorne families await word on methane leak

September 17, 2013|By Angel Jennings

Thirty-seven families in Hawthorne await word later Tuesday on whether they will be allowed to return home after a well continued to spew methane overnight.

The well continued to leak the gas even after crews were able to stop the flow of water, authorities said.

Monday morning, a well-capping company blasted 208 barrels of water under high pressure into the well spout to try to stop the flow of water and methane. 

They felt they had it under control, but it began leaking methane again, authorities said. 

Officials briefly shut down a two-mile stretch of the 105 Freeway between Crenshaw Boulevard and the 405 Freeway for the project. A small part of Imperial Highway between Inglewood and Firmona avenues remained closed.

Crews with Golden State Water Co. on Thursday were trying to plug the retired well when they discovered an unexpected flow of water. Tests revealed that methane gas had mixed with the well water. 

"This situation and repairs have no effect on the local water supply, which continues to meet all drinking water quality standards," Patrick Scanlon, vice president of Golden State Water Co., said Monday in a statement.

Golden State Water Co. hired the well-known capping company Boots & Coots International Well Control to control the mixture of high-pressure water and methane gas.

Officials are unsure what caused the leak.


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