A section of the Woodland Park Zoo was cordoned off this afternoon after a backhoe working on the new west entrance ruptured a gas line. Workers cordoned off the pathway from the penguin exhibit to the merry-go-round, as well as the North Meadow.
Here’s the gas plume behind the penguin exhibit.
Here’s the leak as seen from a different angle.
And here are some employees who were evacuated from their offices to the north parking lot because they were downwind from the leak.
Zoo spokeswoman Gigi Allianic says the line ruptured just after 12 p.m., and was crimped about 45-50 minutes later. Seattle Police, Seattle Fire and Puget Sound Energy all responded.
She says the strong gas smell has now dissipated and all areas of the zoo are back open. Allianic says since today is the first day of school, the zoo wasn’t very crowded.
Thanks to Kate, Fred and Mike for the tips, and Mike for the photos!