Gas Leak Prompts Evacuation at Buena Park Mall

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A mall was evacuated in Buena Park for about two hours Wednesday morning after a contractor struck and ruptured a natural gas line, according to utility and fire officials.



Firefighters respond to a gas-line break at Buena Park Downtown on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013. (Credit: KTLA)

The Orange County Fire Authority responded to the report of a gas leak at the mall after a call came in at 10:05 a.m., according to fire spokesman Steve Concialdi.

The mall, known as Buena Park Downtown, was evacuated during the response, Concialdi said.

“We had a large amount of natural gas that went into the environment, so you could smell it in all these neighboring store and restaurants,” a fire official on scene said.

People were being allowed back into the mall at 12:25 p.m., Concialdi said.

The rupture occurred when a contractor was working in a parking lot, digging a new gas line for a restaurant, and struck an existing 2-inch plastic pipe, Southern California Gas Co. spokeswoman Angela Fentiman said.

The gas was “under control” as of 11:45 a.m., and repairs were underway. Once repairs are completed, service would be restored to mall tenants, she said.

The mall is across Stanton Avenue from the popular amusement park Knott’s Berry Farm (map).

KTLA’s Steve Bien contributed to this report.