Avalanche causes large gas leak near Copper Mountain, officials say

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. — Authorities are responding to a large gas leak near Copper Mountain on Thursday morning that was caused by an avalanche near a gas station,  according to Summit Fire and Rescue.

Summit Fire officials say the avalanche ruptured a natural-gas pipeline between the Conoco gas station and the water treatment plant in Copper Mountain around 5 a.m. on Thursday morning.

Crews from Xcel Energy are on the scene working to shut off the gas and anticipate having the leak resolved soon, according to Summit Fire.

No injuries have been reported.

Because of the leak, Highway 91 has been closed in both directions in the area between Leadville and Copper Mountain.

The leak also forced the Interstate 70 closure to be moved to Frisco, according to the state patrol. I-70 is closed because of an overnight avalanche.

This story is developing. 

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While avalanches are a part of the snow-covered Rocky Mountains, the winter of early 2019 has seen some high-profile examples. Avalanches, including those triggered as part of planned mitigation, have unexpected shut down highways for hours, and others have been caught on camera and gone viral across the country. In this episode of Fire & Ice, we answer the question: what does this all mean for people living around the snow and spending their free time on the slopes?

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