Gas leak in Waipahu stopped; repairs to resume Wed.

Published On: Apr 08 2014 10:34:02 AM HST   Updated On: Apr 08 2014 06:14:53 PM HST
WAIPAHU, Hawaii -

Honolulu police says Farrington Highway was closed in both directions on Tuesday due to a gas leak under the bridge that crosses Waikele Stream.

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The announcement was made at around 10 a.m., but the highway closed about an hour earlier.  The leak was initially found at 7 a.m. after the Honolulu Fire Department responded to a rubbish fire underneath the bridge.

"The persons who were having that fire were a little bit uncooperative, so HPD was called to assist with us putting out the fire," said David Jenkins, an HFD fire investigator.

The closure of Farrington Highway was between Waipahu Depot Road and Pupupuhi Street and not impact nearby schools.

Hawaii Gas says it received approval from the state Department of Transportation to complete a repair of the leak on Wednesday morning.  Crews have clamped the gas line on both sides of the leak to stop the flow of gas.

Steel plates were placed on the highway.  Crews are scheduled to return at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday and work until the leak is fully repaired.

Hawaii Gas communications manager Casey Nishimura said there was little danger of a fire or explosion from the gas leak.

"Natural gas is lighter than air, so it does rise and it will dissipate quickly to the winds. So, the chances that it poses a risk of fire are actually very small in this situation," said Nishimura.

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