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Mostly clear after gas leak prompts evacuations in Minneapolis near U

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Firefighters stand by after police evacuate the area due to a gas leak.
Firefighters stand by after police evacuate the area after construction equipment struck a gas main in the Prospect Park neighborhood of Minneapolis.
Maria Alejandra Cardona | MPR News

Updated: 7:06 p.m. | Posted 3:20 p.m.

CenterPoint Energy workers have shut off a gas leak after the incident forced evacuation from several buildings in Minneapolis' Prospect Park neighborhood Monday afternoon. 

Firefighters were clearing the scene and all occupants were allowed back into their buildings by 7 p.m., the fire department said on Twitter. However, workers remained at building under construction — where the leak apparently started — as of early Monday night.

Police evacuate the area after a construction equipment struck a gas main.
Police evacuated the area after a construction equipment struck a gas main near the University of Minnesota.
Maria Alejandra Cardona | MPR News

No injuries were reported. 

The leak also stopped light rail service at some stations Monday afternoon as Minneapolis fire officials responded to the rupture of a 12-inch natural gas main at Fourth Street Southeast near the University of Minnesota. Buses replaced trains between Raymond and West Bank stations due to the gas leak, and Fourth Street Southeast was closed to traffic from 27th to 30th avenues. 

Minneapolis fire officials say the steel gas line was hit by a bulldozer but that there are no gas readings in the area "except at the hole where the leak is located." 

The rupture happened near University and 29th avenues, where a large residential building is under construction. 

The light rail system is shut down along University Ave.
The light rail system was shut down along University Avenue at 29th Avenue in Minneapolis after police evacuated the area.
Maria Alejandra Cardona | MPR News

Trina Porte, a neighbor, said a representative of CenterPoint Energy, the gas utility, had told her that the gas main couldn't be shut off earlier in the day "because too many people would lose their gas, so they have to bring in a welder to cap it."

She said "there was another gas issue" about a week ago and expressed concern about the construction company working the area.

All buildings within one block of the leak were evacuated. CenterPoint crews walked the streets with gas detectors.

The gas smell around the site was intense, and hiss from the leak can was audible from more than half a mile away.