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Utility crew broke gas line that led to evacuations

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A gas leak at 17th and Grace streets forced residents to evacuate their homes for about an hour this morning.

The Wilmington Fire Department says an investigation found a CFPUA crew removing asphalt accidentally ruptured the line because it was very shallow. No fines were assessed.

The fire department said responders secured a two-block area around the leak as a precaution, but those in a one-block radius had to evacuate.

Michael O'Connell says he was fast asleep when he heard someone pounding on his door.

"Well, I haven't had my morning coffee, the dog wants to go back to bed, it's cold out here, and where are my neighbors?" O'Connell said.

He was eventually allowed back into his home. Police and fire crews cleared the scene soon after. The gas company's maintenance crew remained on scene to fix the two-inch main.

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