View Full Version : Hutchinson Kansas Situation, This is too Weird.

01-18-2001, 12:51 PM
Explosion rocks downtown Hutchinson.


This is too weird. This whole town is on pins and needles. It started yesterday morning with a huge explosion downtown. The fire still has not gone out. I went there last night and talked to a police officer and he told me that they shut off all possible gas lines and it still won't go out. They do not know what is feeding it. This morning there was another explosion about six blocks from where I live. There is at least 8 natural gas leaks all around the city. I grabbed some things and am waiting this out at my shop right now. They have evacuated by my house. I sent my family to the north side of the city. This is too weird. Has anyone else ever heard of anything like this? Hutchinson is built on salt mines. Makes you wonder if natural gas has built up in them. The National Guard is getting ready to be called out. They are not sure if they need to evacuate the whole town. There is somewhere around 30,000+ people here.


I will keep you all posted as I can.

Mark M
01-18-2001, 01:20 PM
Holy f*cking sh!t!!! :eek:

I missed the news last night, so this is the first I've heard of it. Sounds like they have a few pockets of methane built up around town.

If the town has to be evacuated, what are they going to do with 30,000 people?

~~Thinks this is too bizarre ...

01-18-2001, 01:28 PM
Thanks Mark for the offer. It is a very strange situation. The local TV in Wichita is still on the story. Quite a few schools have been evacuated as well as parts of the city. Two people were lifewatched to Wichita this morning from the last explosion. This is the third explosion in four days. The new Hampton Inn they were building exploded early monday morning. They still don't know what caused that one. Then they had the big explosion yesterday. Once again, thanks for your concern.


Mark M
01-18-2001, 01:39 PM
Not a problem. I removed the offer to stay at my place from my post because I figured you wouldn't want to come out all of the way to east bumblef*ck Independence! Hell, I barely want to drive to work in Mission! But if you're in a bind, e-mail me at tke919@yahoo.com and give me a number where I can reach you. I'll help any way I can.

~~Willing to give a helping hand to a fellow Chiefs fan.

01-18-2001, 02:41 PM
I work in Hutch in the Bank of America building on 2nd and Washington. As I sit here I can see the fire burning from the Decor Party store. Freaky is RIGHT.

01-18-2001, 02:58 PM
This is scary. I have family in Hutchinson (apparently Chiefs fan family too)so this sounds particularly scary.

I will tell you from my schooling in science that naturally occurring "salt domes" are associated with large stores of oil. That is how oil in the Gulf of Mexico is found, to find one of these salt domes. Now if there is a naturally occurring salt mine there in the Hutchinson/Witchita area it wouldn't surprise me if some petroleum was associated with this. Even though these are typically associated with warm seas, I can tell you that an intercontinental seaway used to run straight through the Midwestern U.S. and Canada. A very long time ago. I don't know for sure if this has caused the explosions there, it was just my immediate thought when I read the part about salt mines.

Please don't hang hang around in an unstable area folks, I want to continue talking Chiefs football with all of us.

01-18-2001, 03:18 PM

Have you been listening to what is happening around town? Now they have discovered quite a few sink holes north of Sirloin Stockade. They are not sure if it is related to everything else.


01-18-2001, 03:58 PM
I've been listening at work. I just watched the news conference at 3:30. Did you see it?

01-18-2001, 04:21 PM

Yes I heard it. Kind of scary huh?

DJ, All,

According to a press conference, they are speculating that a big underground natural gas storage facility northwest of Hutchinson has leaked into the water table and is coming up throughout the city. They have found about 15 leaks so far. They apparently have slowed the leak. Anyone know how long would it take to evaporate out of the system?


[Edited by The_Grand_Illusion on 01-18-2001 at 09:53 PM]

01-18-2001, 09:37 PM
This is pretty weird. I actually grew up in Hutchinson. Exactly what part of town is this happening in ?

01-18-2001, 09:47 PM
Gonzo, things are happening all over town. Here is the latest.

CBS.com--Hutchinson Waits



01-18-2001, 11:00 PM
Gonzo, here is more from CNN and Yahoo.

CNN.com - Possible gas explosion prompts evacuations in central Kansas


3 Hurt in Kansas Gas Geyser Blast



[Edited by The_Grand_Illusion on 01-18-2001 at 11:14 PM]

01-19-2001, 01:34 PM
Man Dies From Gas Geyser Eruption


He was a friend of the family. My thoughts and prayers go out his wife, who was also injured, and his family.


01-19-2001, 02:04 PM
TGI - Sorry to hear about your loss. Are things starting to calm down or are things still going up?

01-19-2001, 02:51 PM
Thanks Morph,

The sad thing is that these gas leaks can spring up anywhere in the city. Haven't heard much today. All schools are closed as a precaution. The downtown fire is still going. So far it has been quiet around town. They have barricades and the National Guard a block from my house. They are suppose to try to fix the leak in that huge gas storage facility northwest of the city. Kansas Gas Service is going to drill vents all around the city to help let the gas escape and ease the pressure. Hopefully we will get the all clear in the next few days.


01-19-2001, 03:22 PM

Sorry to here that,take care of yourself !

Mark M
01-19-2001, 03:26 PM
Tell them that everyone here (or at least, most of us here) are thinking of them. And good luck, be safe.

~~Really doesn't know what to type ... this thing is just plain spooky.

01-19-2001, 04:01 PM
Maybe it's just me, but if i were told that mega millions of cubic feet of explosive natural gas were floating under my hometown, with the potential to bubble up and explode at anywhere at anytime...I'm thinking it's a good time for a vacation!!

Sorry, that sounds incredibly insensitive, but I HAD to say it. I live in Wichita, and have been keeping my eye on this deal. Many circumstances of this make me uncomfortable, the first of which is the underground storage vaults. Pretty hokie idea to begin with, IMHO.
Obvious concerns for the citizens of Hutch and surrounding area. I read a quote in one article that several folks were in a restaurant of some sort, and a very loud heater kicked on, and there was a noticeable flinch from everyone in the room. JUST CAN'T IMAGINE HOW MUCH THAT WOULD SUCK!!!

Oh, and can't forget, KGE is charging us more than twice the price of natural gas as last Jan. already, how much will they jack us on this one, when THEY'RE PISS POOR STORAGE FACILITIES ARE THE FRICKIN CULPRIT TO BEGIN WITH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ok...im done

01-19-2001, 04:39 PM
This story made the local news in Chicago - what a hellish scene. I hope they get this under control and no one else gets hurt.

01-19-2001, 07:40 PM

Thanks for the support. Yeah Cory I thought about leaving last night after finding out how much gas is escaping under the city. I hope the officials know what they are doing. Some of my neighbors did leave town. For most of the city it was business as usual but this situation was on everyones mind. The equipment arrived tonight to try to fix the leak in the underground storage facility. They think they will have it fixed by morning.


01-20-2001, 08:46 AM
I hope everything works out for you and the city.
Be safe.

01-20-2001, 01:02 PM
Thanks Milkman,

I just listened to the latest press conference. The first two attempts to plug the leak were unsuccessful. We have to wait untill a different size plug can be located. Another good size plume of gas was discovered south of the city west of the prison last night. There is an army of gas service personel here. Many are going door to door looking for gas leaks with sniffers. That's a little reassuring.


01-20-2001, 04:12 PM
Illusion - God Bless you and yours.

01-21-2001, 01:44 AM
Grand Illusion:

I can't even imagine how crazy and scary it is to be living in Hutchinson right now.

Hopefully, this plug they're sending in from Texas will choke off the gas and help return things to normal.

If this succeeds, will the problem be solved? Or will this gas "volcano" still be a dangerous concern?

My best wishes to you and everyone in Hutchinson...

01-21-2001, 12:46 PM
Thanks KCWolfman, AJKCFAN, and All for your thoughts, concerns and prayers. It is very much appreciated.

Four plugs from Houston just arrived so they can make more attempts to seal the leak. They continue to drill vents around the city to help let the gas escape. It will take a little while for the crews to get them up and running. Cargill Salt plant was evacuated yesterday as several gas plumes were discovered near there. It has been fairly calm the last couple of days. Many precautions are being taken. Transfering some of the natural gas out of that storage facility has taken some of the pressure off of the gas plumes.


Makes you wonder with all the salt caverns under the city what will happen in the future. They are flying in many Geologist and other experts to try to map out where the gas could remain.

I'm headed to Wichita to get away for the rest of the day. Thanks again everyone.


01-21-2001, 10:47 PM
Officials Hope Gas Leak Plug Works


Hopefully we are half way there.


01-21-2001, 11:10 PM

That's great news. Does this definitely mean that the gas leak is now unable to burst through and into the air? That was quite an explosion of energy produced by that gas leak. That plug has quite a battle on its hands...

What are they saying about the immediate and long-term health dangers about the air in Hutchinson? Are the gas levels ridiculously high? How possible is it for someone traveling Highway 50 or Highway 61 to throw out a cigarette bud and igniting another explosion?

Schools over there are still cancelled?

The news covering this has started to die so you're becoming the on-the-spot reporter about this, like Peter Arnett & Bernard Shaw in Baghdad...

Stay safe and well.

P.S. Hutchinson is Chiefs country, right? Or is it also Broncos country too?

01-22-2001, 12:37 AM
i have a friend who runs a store in the mall there and he called and said they were closeing them down the other day. and sounds bad so i send my prayers and thoughts to him and all the others there as well.

01-22-2001, 09:28 AM

The leak at the storage facility has been plugged as of last night, but the view from my desk (one block north of the original explosion) shows that the flames really haven't diminished that I can tell. It is smaller than it was last Thursday, but that is due more to the vent holes that have been drilled than anything, I would guess. There is still probably tons of natural gas under the city. The news keeps prefacing stories about the leak saying "If this was the only source feeding the gas", which is kind of unnerving. Schools are back in session today.


01-22-2001, 03:03 PM
Yeah Scooter I saw the noon news and the fire downtown does not look like it has diminished much.


There is so many questions at this point. Kansas Gas Service continues to moniter the town with sniffers. Now that the plug is in place they can slide another tube down the well and repair the leak. I don't think that many of the people here were aware that billions of cubic feet of gas were stored near the city. Makes you wonder about this natural gas shortage. Yes, there are many Chiefs fans in this area. There is also some misplaced Bronco fans too. :D