PATTERSON — A gas leak closed a road and led to the evacuation of the Amazon distribution center here Wednesday morning.
Mayor Luis Molina said Baldwin Road off Sperry Road near Interstate 5 was closed as responders from Pacific Gas & Electric, public works and the Stanislaus County Sheriffs Department investigated the incident.
PG&E spokeswoman Nicole Liebelt said the utility was notified of the leak just before 7 a.m. The pressure of the gas forced its way through the asphalt above.
Because of the sheer force of the gas, it had damaged the road, Liebelt said. Employees of the Amazon distribution center, set to open next month, were evacuated from the 1million-square-foot building.
PG&E notified Molina that workers had shut off the gas by about 8 a.m. No injuries were reported.
Liebelt attributed the leak to bad fusion a piece of pipeline that had not fused correctly. Amazon employees were allowed to return to work by 10:30 to 11 a.m., though work at the leak site continued until about 5 p.m.
Repair was complicated by two factors: the hardened road atop the site and the fact that other utilities, such as electricity, share the space. That makes it a little more time-consuming, Liebelt said.
PG&E planned to send workers back to the site this morning to conduct a pressure test and ensure the pipeline was fully repaired and functioning correctly, Liebelt said.
Though the distribution center isnt set to open until next month, Amazon has employed several people who have been working to prepare the facility. It will house mostly larger items sold by the online retail giant; a distribution center set to open later in Tracy will handle smaller items.