Officials think truck may have been behind strong odor in Kittanning
By Tim Karan
Published: Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Authorities are uncertain what caused a strong odor of natural gas in the downtown Kittanning area on Tuesday afternoon, although a leaking propane truck may be to blame.
Reports of the smell began pouring into Armstrong County 911 a little before 1 p.m. in the area of the Kittanning Citizens Bridge and Market Street with some accounts describing the odor at its strongest near Tarrtown Road on the opposite side of the Allegheny River. Fire departments were dispatched to several locations and Peoples Natural Gas sent a team to investigate six reports of a possible leak, but nothing was found.
Public Safety Director Randy Brozenick said he believes the odor may not have been related to natural gas.
“I think it was a propane truck that went through town,” he said.
Shortly after 1 p.m., Armstrong County Deputy Sheriff Frank Shumaker stopped a heavy haul tow truck that was pulling a propane truck from West Kittanning through downtown onto Clearfield Pike in Rayburn Township.
“I followed the tow truck from around the courthouse up along (Clearfield Pike) and spoke with the driver at the intersection of Route 85 and Route 28/66,” said Shumaker. “He pulled over into the lot (near the) Kiddieland Bridge, but you really couldn't smell anything.”
Shumaker said Rayburn Fire Department responded to the scene but didn't discover any leaks in the truck.
“There was nobody cited,” he said. “The fellow driving the tow truck went on his way, I believe toward the New Bethlehem area.”
Although there's no evidence that particular truck was the source of the odor, Peoples Natural Gas spokesperson Barry Kukovich said the company believes it came from a truck of some kind.
“Our suspicion is that it was probably a truck hauling propane through town,” said Kukovich. “If it was, it would be the second time something like this has happened this year already. When it happened in Pittsburgh early in January, you could literally track the route that truck traveled just from the smell.”
Kukovich also said weather conditions in Kittanning at the time of the incident could have exacerbated the problem.
“You had winds coming from the southwest at just about four miles per hour and 86 percent humidity,” he said. “With that much humidity and not much wind, it's not going to disperse the smell of gas if it's there.”
While the source of the odor may never be known, Kukovich and Brozenick both said there's no cause for continued concern.
Tim Karan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Survivors in critical condition a day after fifth Armstrong County car crash victim dies
- Freeport teacher from Ford City honored
- Bullet strikes Armstrong school van
- Cowanshannock American Legion loses building but keeps marching on
- Armstrong County School Board postpones selling delinquent real estate tax claims
- Vandals strike Kittanning doctor’s memorial in picnic area
- Grove City man charged with passing counterfeit bills
- Eagle numbers soaring in Armstrong County
- Boggs man avoids ‘too good to be true’ scam
- ‘Women Build’ tackles 2 Armstrong Habitat projects