Nova Scotia

Same contractor behind 2 gas leaks in HRM

Two natural gas leaks in Halifax involved the same contractor, a report has found.

Sackville Trenching stopped from working on gas lines indefinitely

The gas leaks shut down several blocks in Halifax and Dartmouth. (CBC)

Two natural gas leaks in Halifax this week involved the same contractor, a report has found.

Tuesday saw gas leaks on Gaston Road in Dartmouth and South Park Street in Halifax. They forced precautionary power outages and neighborhood evacuations.

Locals reported seeing the gas shimmering in the air and packing a strong smell.

In a preliminary report to Nova Scotia's Utility and Review Board, Heritage Gas says both were preventable and both involved Sackville Trenching.

"Working safely through our work procedures would have prevented that from happening," said Chris MacAuley, a Heritage Gas manager.

'Safety stand down'

In Dartmouth, Sackville Trenching was working on a storm sewer line extension when it ruptured a gas line in the area.

In Halifax, the company was working directly for Heritage Gas where an existing gas main is being connected to a new one. A two-inch main was pinched, causing the leak.

Heritage Gas initiated a "safety stand down," which means Sackville Trenching is indefinitely stopped from further work on gas lines. The company declined to comment.

Heritage Gas had marked gas lines in the area, the report found. The Dartmouth markings were removed by construction work on the storm sewer.

"That’s our focus now: to dig into the details about why that may have occurred," MacAuley said.

Heritage Gas will also have to provide a more detailed incident report to government regulators.