Downey homes evacuated over gas leak; emergency cellphone alert sent across L.A. area

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Crews respond to a natural gas leak in Downey on April 22, 2021, in a photo released by the Downey Fire Department.

Crews respond to a natural gas leak in Downey on April 22, 2021, in a photo released by the Downey Fire Department.

Firefighters and utility crews are working to contain a natural gas leak in Downey Thursday, officials said.

The leak was first reported about 10:30 a.m. at the corner of Stewart & Gray Road and Rives Avenue, according to SoCalGas.

Fire crews were at the scene by 11:30 a.m., the Downey Fire Department said on Facebook.

Evacuations were only ordered for anyone within a 300-feet radius, but an emergency alert asking people to avoid the area was sent to cellphones as far away as Hollywood.

The city of Downey said it was testing a new emergency notification system and inadvertently distributed the message across the entire county.

Stewart & Gray Road would be shut down from Paramount Boulevard to Rives Avenue until further notice.

The gas company determined a third-party contractor damaged the gas line, and said it was working to cut the gas flow so it could be repaired.

Anyone in the area would likely smell a gas odor while work was underway, officials said.

No injuries had been reported as of Thursday afternoon.

No further details were immediately available.

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