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Several Old Town Buildings Evacuated During Gas Leak

Several buildings in Old Town were evacuated Friday morning after work crews severed a two-inch gas pipeline.

Officials said a call came in around 9 a.m. reporting a possible gas leak.

“Responding (fire) crews encountered a work crew that was doing some work at the intersection of Second and Mead and during that work a gas line had been ruptured,” said Wichita Fire Marshall Stuart Bevis.

Bevis said the work stopped immediately and buildings in a two-block radius were evacuated.

The area smelled strongly of gas despite steady winds.

The Kansas Gas Service was called in to pinch off the gas line on both ends.

Wichita State University evacuated all buildings on its Old Town Campus near First and Mead.

Officials on scene asked bystanders not to turn on their cars or light cigarettes until it was deemed safe.

Some buildings remained closed until firefighters went through them room-by-room to make sure there were no gas pockets that could ignite.

Bevis said all buildings were reopened about 11 a.m.

”The gas company had the leak under control, and we had cleared the last building and checked it and made it OK for the occupants to go back in,” he said.

No injuries were reported.

Audrey Korte is an intern in the KMUW News Lab.