Gas line rupture drill raises awareness about dialing 811 before you dig

WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Experts are helping people avoid disaster by teaching them the right way to dig.

Representatives from Entertech came to West Monroe to demonstrate a gas line rupture.

They showed the right and wrong ways of digging.

Step one: Call 811 on your phone.

They say you must contact a line locator, which you can do by dialing 811 or by going to the Louisiana 811 website. They will come out and mark where the gas line is before you start digging. They say it’s required every time you dig. That could be working on a big construction site or something as simple as a backyard project.

They also showed what could happen if you do it the wrong way and break a gas line.

They say this drill gives first responders and line locators time to practice proper protocol and get to know each other.

Greg Kittle from Entertech says it's all about raising awareness because the wrong way could have deadly consequences.

"It’s really inconceivable how dangerous it can be,” he says. “I know yesterday I saw a news story about in Cleveland where there was a gas explosion and it destroyed a home. Boom. Quick like that. These are hazardous materials and things can go wrong really quick."

They say it will take up to 48 hours for line locators to get to the site, not including weekends or holidays.

"There may be a misconception that calling in to locate because you have to wait that 48 hour mark time that it might be a hassle or inconvenience for excavators or homeowners or anyone wanting to dig, but you can see through the demonstration that doing it the right way takes a minimal amount of time," Kittle says.