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Downtown gas leak closes streets, forces evacuation

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Employees of a downtown office building were evacuated Wednesday when a gas line ruptured after being hit by a contractor behind 330 Portage Ave. about 9:30 a.m.

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Employees of a downtown office building were evacuated Wednesday when a gas line ruptured after being hit by a contractor behind 330 Portage Ave. about 9:30 a.m. Photo Store

Several downtown buildings won’t have gas as Manitoba Hydro crews close off valves as they work to repair a main line ruptured this morning by a contractor doing some digging in a back lane.

The leak has occurred behind 330 Portage Ave. when a 10-centimetre-line was hit about 9:30 a.m.

A nearby building has been evacuated a precaution.

The gas is "venting into the atmosphere and is not causing a hazard," said Scott Powell, a spokesman with Manitoba Hydro.

A witness said the downtown core "smells a bit like someone left their propane tank open."

Powell said crews are shutting valves that will affect the flow of gas to some downtown buildings. There is no word yet on when service might be restored.

Fire crews have several streets blocked off, including the intersection of Portage and Carlton Street.

History

Updated on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 12:36 PM CDT: adds photo

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