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Three injured after gas line breaks, catches fire

SEATTLE – A ruptured gas line that burst into flames injured three utility workers, forced evacuations of nearby homes and spurred a massive response from Seattle Fire.

Officials say contractors accidentally cut a 2-inch gas line on Midvale Avenue on Friday.

Three Puget Sound Energy employees suffered burn injuries and were sent to a local hospital.

Bright orange flames shot into the sky. Seattle Fire says construction crews digging a hole ripped into a gas line, and then somehow the gas ignited.

“We don’t’ know exactly how the fire started,” said Seattle Fire spokesperson Kristin Tinsley. “What we do know there was some sort of ignition.”

“The firefighters knocking on my door saying you got to get out because this is an emergency,” said neighbor Onofra Dias.

The leaking gas forced the evacuation of a half-block evacuation radius including several homes and some apartments. Neighbors watched from a distance while firefighters tried to keep nearby cars from catching fire. The leaking gas and flames could be seen bubbling out of the ground.

Kendrick Peoples and his family were relaxing at home when they were told to grab what they could and escape the danger.

“Luckily they let us go inside the house and grab a couple things for the kids to eat,” Peoples said.

By Friday afternoon the leak was finally closed, and the fire was put out. Once the air was considered safe families were allowed to return home.

“I was concerned not only for my kids but for our whole neighborhood,” said Tilly Holmes.

One of the three Puget Sound Energy employees injured has been treated and released from the hospital and the other two were reported in satisfactory condition.

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