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Forum staff reports, Published July 18 2012

Residents of south Fargo neighborhood briefly evacuated after natural gas leak

FARGO – Residents in a south Fargo neighborhood were briefly evacuated around 11 a.m. today after a natural gas line ruptured because of construction at 15th Avenue South and Seventh Street.

The gas line was 2 inches in diameter and had an estimated 600 pounds per square inch of natural gas flowing in it, according to a news release from the Fire Department.

Because of the high pressure, the gas vapors vented 40 to 50 feet in the air before dissipating, causing firefighters to take additional precautions.

Residents of about eight homes who were asked to evacuate returned to their homes about noon.

Natural gas is colorless and odorless. A chemical additive called mercapten gives natural gas its “rotten egg” smell in case of a leak.

If the smell is detected buildings should be evacuated and 911 called immediately.