Gas Leak Clears Out Bellevue Neighborhood

A gas leak caused by a car crashing into a building caused an evacuation near 41st and Harrison Tuesday evening.

Bellevue Police had to shut down roads in the area as the Metropolitan Utilities District shut off the gas. According to officers, a car ran into the Tobacco Hut building, striking the gas meter and causing gas to leak into the establishment.

There was at least one person in the building at the time, but there were no injuries reported.

Bellevue Fire Battalion Chief Jo Gibilisco said the building was completely filled with natural gas, and everything in a 300 foot radius had to be evacuated. "We were then able to evacuate a 300 foot perimeter, safety perimeter. We had to take some people out of their houses that couldn't get themselves out."

Gibilisco said things could have been a lot worse. "As soon as the car hit it, it could've went up at that time. It could've blown up within the first 15 minutes when we were trying to evacuate people."

The driver who hit the building left the scene, and police are still searching for the vehicle. Gibilisco said there may be surveillance video that can be used to track down the driver.

Residents returned to their homes about an hour after the gas was shut off.

(Photo courtesy of 6 News)

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