Gas line cut at hotel construction site sends natural-gas smell across Aspen |

Gas line cut at hotel construction site sends natural-gas smell across Aspen

For the second time in about a month, workers at the Sky Hotel construction site cut a gas line Wednesday evening, this time sending the smell of natural gas across Aspen.

"You can smell it all over town," Aspen police Sgt. Rob Fabrocini said.

The rupture to the main gas line servicing the hotel, which was torn down this summer to make way for a new hotel, was reported to emergency dispatchers about 6:10 p.m., Aspen Fire Marshall Parker Lathrop said.

Employees of Black Hills Energy went in to cap the line about an hour later and they were backed up by a team of firefighters in case fire broke out, he said. Crews were working on Spring Street near the base of Aspen Mountain. That street along with parts of Durant Avenue were closed off.

It was not clear Wednesday evening exactly what caused the break, Lathrop said. No injuries or evacuations were reported.

The same line was cut about a month ago when a boulder rolled down hill on top of the gas line and ruptured it during the middle of the day, he said. Because it happened during the day when Black Hills workers had not yet gone home, that rupture was clamped shut in a shorter time, Lathrop said.

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The Sky Hotel demolition started in May, and a new W Hotel is scheduled to open in 2019. The new hotel will be more than twice the size as Sky Hotel.

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