Gas leak: 'slightest spark can set off a spectacular explosion'

Gas leak: 'slightest spark can set off a spectacular explosion' »Play Video
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Methane - a colorless, odorless and flammable gas - was spewing into the air early Wednesday in a rural area east of Bakersfield.

A Vaquero Energy team drilling for oil on farmland "experienced a gas blowout" near Malaga and Hermosa roads, north of East Panama Lane, according to Kern County Fire Department Capt. Derek Tisinger.

The gas didn't pose a health hazard for the public, because it was lighter than air. The oil-drilling crew avoided a potentially dangerous situation, however, when they hit the gas pocket.

"Just the slightest spark can set off a spectacular explosion," Tisinger said. "We have had instances in the past in Kern County where the outcome hasn't been as good as this one was."

Several roads around the gas leak were closed as a precaution. The closures should last into the evening, the fire department said.