Photo via OnScene.TV.

A backhoe operator accidentally broke a utility line Wednesday while digging on a street just west of Balboa Park, causing a natural gas leak that led to several hours’ worth of evacuations and road closures in the area.

The non-injury construction accident on Nutmeg Street near Fifth Avenue in Bankers Hill occurred about 11:45 a.m., the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department reported.

“It’s a major supply line. It’s going to take SDG&E quite a while to get it shut down,” Battalion Chief Ted Moran said soon after the crew arrived on the scene.

Emergency personnel cleared people out of nearby buildings as a precaution while police cordoned off roadsides and traffic lanes along Sixth Avenue, between Laurel and Olive streets.

Utility crews had the leak halted by about 2:30 p.m., according to San Diego Gas & Electric. Sixth Avenue was open again to through traffic in the area by shortly after 3 p.m., police said.

From City News Service and Onscene.TV. 

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