Natural gas leak near Lovell Rd. Pilot leads to 1-hour evacuation

A release of natural gas behind the Lovell Road Pilot early Wednesday, Jan. 13, forced businesses to evacuate for about an hour while the situation was addressed by KUB.

An emergency call was made around 8:15 a.m. and Knoxville Fire Department firefighters responded, according to KFD Capt. D.J. Corcoran, who said KUB-owned natural gas relief valves released about 80 psi (pound force per square inch) into the air that morning.

“It made a big noise, but the valve [mechanism] did what it was supposed to do,” he said, adding, “When that happens, it sounds like a jet plane.”

Corcoran said surrounding businesses were evacuated “because of the amount of gas that was released,” but that “it was not a big threat.”

KUB crews arrived on the scene, and “cut the relief valve off and had everything back under control by 9:30 a.m.” Corcoran added.