South Tulsa neighborhood evacuated for valve malfunction in pipeline that let gas escape

TULSA - Residents were allowed to return to their homes Monday after a valve malfunction sent gas into the air from a pipeline near 89th and Memorial Drive that prompted evacuations and road closures earlier in the day.

Police urged residents living between 87th to 91st Streets and 83rd East Avenues to 93rd East Avenue to leave the area.

The leak began just after 5 a.m. when nearby residents heard noises like jet engines.

"I actually thought an airplane was crashing into the house, it really startled me and I got up and it was a constant roar," said resident Cindy Steward.

HAZMAT, Tulsa firefighters and Tulsa police located the pipeline break near a storage facility. Officials said the leak was near a construction site.

By 7 a.m. the leak had been capped and officials began reopening roads. 

TFD spokesman Capt. Stan May said the leak was coming from a high-pressure release valve that opened as it was supposed to avoid an explosion or rupture.

Oklahoma Natural Gas spokeswoman Cherokee Ballard says the valve has an alert system that's supposed to sound when there's high pressure, but the alert didn't go off.

The valve is being removed and sent to the manufacturer for repair.

Ballard says nothing like this has ever happened at an ONG site.

About 100 homes were evacuated during the incident. No one was injured.

Print this article Back to Top