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Gas leak near Horton Plaza prompts evacuations

SAN DIEGO -- A gas leak in downtown San Diego Saturday afternoon shut down several blocks as emergency responders scrambled to evacuate buildings around a construction site just east of Horton Plaza.

Streets reopened in the area around 4 p.m.

Police and fire rescue crews were dispatched shortly before 1 p.m. to the leak at a construction site at Fifth Avenue and E Street. At least one building and several ground-level businesses were evacuated. No injuries have been reported.

Pedestrians and vehicles were barred on E Street from Fourth Avenue to Sixth Avenue, as well as Fifth Avenue from Broadway south to F Street.

Authorities have not disclosed the cause of the leak, but several witnesses said construction workers struck a natural gas line.

San Diego Gas & Electric said on Twitter that people were allowed back in the area and that impacted businesses would be contacted before their service was restored.

"Our crews will continue to be out in the downtown area through later tonight to conduct further assessment," the utility service added. "There will be digging activity in the surrounding area."

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