NW Natural responds to Natural Gas Incident in NW Portland

Media Contact: 503-818-9845 (pager)


October 19, 2016


NW Natural responds to Natural Gas Incident in NW Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. — NW Natural responded to a call about a third-party damage (a contractor dug into one of our gas lines) at 500 NW 23rd in Portland today at 8:55 a.m. NW Natural crews were onsite at 9:10 a.m. We evacuated the building and were working with the fire department on scene when an explosion occurred at approximately 9:38 a.m. We do not know the cause of the ignition. Gas was controlled at 9:52 a.m.

"First let me express my deepest concern for those injured today and our heartfelt appreciation for the efforts of the first responders," said David Anderson, NW Natural CEO and President. "We have been serving this community for 157 years, and we have 1,100 employees that live and work here who care deeply about delivering our product safely every day. We are fortunate that these kinds of incidents are very rare, but public safety is our absolute priority so we continually train our crews to be ready to respond quickly."

Here are additional facts as we know them:

  • We have shut service down to 115 natural gas customers in the area. Additional customers may be without service due to the electricity being turned off.
  • All structures within 300 feet have been checked by NW Natural crews for presence of natural gas.
  • NW Natural crews have also completed a leak survey of our underground facilities for a two block radius and are currently monitoring our infrastructure to ensure no further issues.
  • We will be coordinating with Portland Fire, PGE and City of Portland structural officials to re-establish service in the area as soon as possible.
  • Our employees are coordinating with the Red Cross so anyone that has been displaced by this event should call NW Natural 800-422-4012 and we will help make sure arrangements are made, or they can go to the Red Cross Community Shelter at 1972 NW Flanders.

NW Natural has one of the most modern pipeline systems in the country, but the most common cause of a pipeline accident is someone digging into a gas line. So please, under all circumstances, call 811 before you dig, and if you ever smell natural gas or a rotten egg odor, or hear a hissing sound, please call our emergency line any time day or night at 800-882-3377.

We will continue to provide updates at nwnatural.com and Twitter @nwnatural as more information becomes available.

About NW Natural

NW Natural (NYSE:NWN) is headquartered in Portland, Ore., and provides natural gas service to about 718,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Oregon and Southwest Washington. It is the largest independent natural gas utility in the Pacific Northwest. Additional information is available at www.nwnatural.com.

# # # #