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SAN DIEGO — A broken natural gas pipe forced authorities to close a busy street near Balboa Park Wednesday.

The leak was reported just after noon on Nutmeg Street and 6th Avenue, near Balboa Park. A 2-inch gas line was hit by a backhoe and broken, according to San Diego Fire-Rescue.

Some buildings along Nutmeg and 6th were evacuated, SDFRD said.

Fire crews and San Diego Gas & Electric also shut down the street in the immediate area while they worked. San Diego Police Department said any traffic headed through the area would be diverted at Maple, Olive and 5th Avenue.

Utility crews stopped the gas leak shortly before 3 p.m. Firefighters and utility crews were walking through the area to make sure it was safe before reopening the area to the public.

Gas service was expected to be restored later Wednesday.