SEATTLE Puget Sound Energy reiterated late Thursday that it still believes a downed power line may have triggered a series of gas leaks, and an explosion in the Pinehurst Neighborhood.

But Seattle City Light said earlier Thursday its preliminary investigation shows its safeguards functioned appropriately after the line went down Sunday.

Everything we ve found is that the equipment operated the way it was designed to, said Scott Thomsen, a City Light spokesperson. He says engineers have examined high wire breakers, and grounding poles, in the area in question, and they appear to have stopped electricity flow almost immediately after a branch took down the line. The breaker will open to prevent damage to the rest of the system and cut off the short.

Neighbors were without power for nearly six hours Sunday, as City Light worked to restore the line, and conversely, power to the area.

I don t see how electricity had anything to do with the gas lines, said Sandi Skeem, who has watched surveyors poke holes in her street, to pinpoint the leak. They have to say what is going to make everyone comfortable, but something is going on under the ground here.

Three gas leaks were reported Sunday, before a home exploded near 5th Avenue NE early Monday morning, later blamed on a natural gas leak. Four more leaks were found within a mile of the explosion on Tuesday, and two more leaks were found on Wednesday. PSE says at least 5 of the newly discovered leaks are related to maintenance issues, and not connected to the downed line.

PSE announced Thursday that it did not find any more leaks during an ongoing survey, and that it could now take months to truly understand what is going on within the Pinehurst pipe system.

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