Crews work to stop a natural gas leak Tuesday near the intersection of Old Highway 99 and Anderson Road in Mount Vernon.

MOUNT VERNON — A vehicle crash Tuesday morning caused a natural gas leak in south Mount Vernon, requiring several businesses and about 100 people to be evacuated from the area.

The Mount Vernon Fire Department was called to the scene about 10 a.m., said Battalion Chief James Sanders. When firefighters arrived they saw a gas meter on a business near the intersection of Anderson Road and Old Highway 99 was askew, he said.

With assistance from the Mount Vernon Police Department, nearby roads were shut down and businesses within about a quarter-mile were evacuated, Sanders said.

”The primary concern was the actual building where the gas meter was hit filling with gas and igniting and exploding,” he said.

Cascade Natural Gas was called to the scene and within minutes determined a specialized unit was required, Sanders said.

Puget Sound Energy was also called to turn off the power to nearby buildings, he said.

Crews worked to locate and fix the gas line, which required digging about 30 inches into the ground, Sanders said.

About 1:30 p.m., roads in the area were reopened and businesses were allowed to reopen, though Cascade Natural Gas crews remained to continue repairs, he said.

Mount Vernon police Lt. Mike Moore said it is suspected the driver of the vehicle either suffered a medical emergency or the vehicle had a mechanical malfunction.

The driver was uninjured, he said.

— Reporter Kera Wanielista: 360-416-2141,, Twitter: @Kera_SVH,

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