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Gas leak forces evacuations in the Avenues

SALT LAKE CITY — Residents of some 200 apartments have been allowed to go back home, hours after an evacuation caused by a gas leak near 1st Avenue and A Street.

Salt Lake City firefighters say they were called to the area at 7:00 this morning after a public utilities crew, who was working on a water main break down the street, reported smelling gas. It’s unclear how the line got damaged or if it’s connected to that earlier water main break.

Dominion Energy was able to shut down the line before noon.

Dominion Energy spokeswoman Dana Peterson explained what they did.

“Because gas flows in both directions in this particular pipe, we dig holes on either side of that damaged area. We squeeze down the gas so gas no longer flows, [then] we go in and we make the repair,” Peterson said.

Residents were finally allowed back home after an hours-long process to make sure every building was safe.

“We’ll go into those buildings. Make sure gas didn’t migrate into those buildings. As soon as those are clear, we’ll start letting people back in and start making the repair,” Peterson said.

Dominion Energy will then completely repair the line. They stress that natural gas is not toxic.

Temporary shelters were set up at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ meeting house on 1st Avenue and the Sorenson Multicultural Center.