A drill digging part of the First Hill streetcar line has stuck a natural gas line, releasing gas and its distinct aroma to waft across the Pike/Pine neighborhood. Police have cordoned off the radial blocks around Broadway and East Pike Street, where the rupture occurred.
"Our concern is that we don't want a spark to ignite the gas," Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore tells news intern Joseph Staten. However, he adds, "the chance of that occurring is not great."
So, to be clear, there is a "not great" chance The Stranger office is about to be detonated.
Intrepid news intern Mike Gore is at the scene, inside the QFC. When he tried to leave the store, fire fighters said nobody could use the main entrance, and they set up a "barricade of shopping carts," he says. "Police are asking people to leave the area right now." From his vantage, Mike says it looks like the drill is still in the ground.
Also, he is leaving the area.
UPDATE at 1:25 PM: We're not dead yet! But it still reeks of natural gas . Puget Sound Energy personnel have arrived, and these signs are around the perimeter: