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RUPTURED GAS LINE FORCES 3 OREM FIRMS TO EVACUATE

Employees and customers at three Orem businesses were evacuated for nearly an hour while Mountain Fuel crews repaired a ruptured natural gas line Thursday afternoon.

Shortly before noon, a backhoe digging at approximately 1150 S. State ruptured an 8-inch main gas line, said Orem Fire Capt. Joe McRae.Within minutes, Orem fire and police crews responded and began evacuating businesses within a one-block radius, including a bank, an auto dealership and a tire repair and sales dealership.

"These lines put out as much as 300 pounds per square inch," McRae said. "With as much gas as there was leaking out, we had to evacuate in case something ignited."

Traffic officers also closed State Street between 1200 South and 1000 South while repair work was taking place.

Mountain Fuel crews turned off the gas and clamped the line in two places before beginning the repair work.

The evacuations and road closures lasted through most of the lunch hour. After Mountain Fuel representatives checked out the businesses for any further gas leaks, employees and customers were allowed back in. No injuries or health problems were reported.

"There were no other problems, aside from some upset people who had to deal with the (State Street construction project) and with the road closure," McRae said.