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Homeowner’s Digging Causes Gas Leak, Evacuations in Commerce

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Residents were evacuated from their homes in the city of Commerce for several hours Tuesday due to a gas leak that occurred during construction, authorities said.


Sheriff’s and fire officials responded to a gas leak in Commerce on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013. (Credit: KTLA)

The underground leak was reported at a residential property in the 1400 block of Sydney Drive at 2:42 p.m., according to Los Angeles County Fire Department and the city.

Eight homes were evacuated, affecting about 15 to 20 residents, a battalion chief on scene said. The evacuation was lifted at about 5:30 p.m., the fire department stated on Twitter.

The 1/2-inch gas line broke when a resident was digging in his backyard, according to Denise King, a spokeswoman for the Southern California Gas Co.

A fire battalion chief on site said a heavy construction company had to be called in to dig under the home to shut off the line.

Residents should call 811 two days before digging underground, King urged, saying the free service contacts all underground utilities to try to ensure safety and no disruptions in service.

Commerce coordinated bus service for the evacuees from the Bristow Park neighborhood. Residents had been told to avoid the area or evacuate to Bristow Park Community Center, 1466 S. McDonnell Ave.