Vandal cuts gas lines of area businesses, says emergency crews

COLUMBIA, Mo. - A suspect is still on the loose after cutting gas lines at at least one Columbia business Saturday morning.

Sam's Club on Conley Road was the first business hit.  A worker there called emergency crews after hearing a hissing noise outside of the back of the building.

Ameren and the Columbia Fire Department responded and quickly stopped the gas leak.

Ameren found another business in the Broadway Marketplace that had also had a gas line cut, but they would not confirm which business it was.

Columbia Fire Captain John Metz said it was lucky the gas lines were cut outside of the building because inside the building would cause an asphyxiation hazard and a fire risk.

"With the right oxygen and gas mixture, it can be very flammable and extremely easy to ignite," Metz said.

The Columbia Police Department did not release any information about the suspect, but Sam's Club managers said they have the suspect on video surveillance.

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