Gas line brakes after hit-and-run crash

SAN DIEGO - A car crashed into a wall Tuesday morning, rupturing a natural gas line and prompting the evacuation of about 70 people who live in the Sherman Heights area, authorities said.

Dispatchers received reports shortly before 3 a.m. of a vehicle that crashed into a wall near 24th Street and Imperial Avenue and the caller reported smelling gas in the area, San Diego police Officer Robert Heims said.

No one was injured in the crash, but officers arrived and evacuated around 70 residents in the 2400 block of Imperial Avenue as a precaution while San Diego Gas & Electric crews worked to repair the leak, Heims said.

Utility crews responded and repaired the 3/4-inch gas line around 5:10 a.m., SDG&E spokeswoman Colleen Windsor said.

The gas line was damaged by a third party, possibly by a car crashing into a gas meter, Windsor said, adding that the cause of the outage was still under investigation.

No injuries were reported and all residents were allowed to return to their homes around 5:20 a.m., Heims said.