Hazmat investigates gasoline dumped in sewer system - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Hazmat investigates gasoline dumped in sewer system

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COLLEGE AREA (CBS 8) - Hazmat crews are investigating how gasoline ended up pouring into the sewer system in the 4800 block of Campanile Dr., near San Diego State.

Authorities suspect that someone dumped an unknown quantity of gas into the sewer system, possibly by dumping it down a drain.

The gas vapors then rose from the sewer system below to the manhole covers above it, releasing an intense odor of gasoline that residents thought was a gas leak.

"It's the vapors that are trapped in the sewer system that need to be released by lifting the manhole covers," said Battalion Chief Mike Finnerty of San Diego Fire-Rescue.

While officials had considered ordering evacuations, they were ultimately deemed unnecessary.

Haz Mat crews at first detected explosive levels of gasoline when they lifted the manhole covers. Those levels quickly dropped to safe levels after the gas vapors dissipated.

Authorities say they gasoline itself poses little threat as it runs through the sewer system.

"The gas itself is so diluted it won't pose a hazard by the time it gets to a treatment facility," Finnerty added.



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