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3 Lawrence Homes Evacuated After Gas Line Hit By Construction Crew

LAWRENCE (CBS) -- Three houses in Lawrence were briefly evacuated Tuesday morning after a construction crew hit a gas line on High Street.

The gas was shut off and the evacuations were just a precaution, but the event came just days after more than 150 people were forced to leave their homes because of a gas leak on South Broadway.

Columbia Gas responded and repaired the line in about 10 minutes, the Lawrence Fire Department confirmed.

Everyone has been able to return home, the gas company said, and no one lost gas or power.

There was a minor gas leak in Lawrence Tuesday morning (WBZ-TV)

After the gas leak last week, Lawrence residents said the evacuations brought back scary memories from the 2018 Merrimack Valley gas explosions.

"I think that we are going to have a serious conversation about what happened on Saturday," said Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera. "It wasn't a critical failure to the system, but I'm pretty sure it was a critical oversight of how you close up and button up a system when you fix it."

The leak was caused by contractors working for the City of Lawrence who were checking water valves in preparation for road paving. The contractors closed a gas value that should have been replaced during the pipeline reconstruction in 2018.

Rivera said it was inevitable that the mistake came out.

After discovering the leak around 3 a.m. on Friday, crews went door-to-door to the 150 customers while repairs were being done. Everyone was able to return home by Saturday night.

Rivera said, "The good news is we've gotten better at this and the bad news is we've gotten better at this."

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