Evacuation orders lifted after construction crew hits gas line


NATIONAL CITY, Calif. — A construction crew mistakenly hit a gas line on Tuesday morning, prompting an hours-long evacuation of nearby homes and an elementary school.

Mandatory evacuation orders were lifted just before 7:30 p.m., according to the National City Police Department. Crews from SDG&E are expected to remain on the scene through the evening and East 8th Street remains closed from Harbison Avenue to East Plaza Boulevard.

The closure is expected to last until Wednesday morning at the earliest, according to SDG&E.

Battalion Chief Robert Hernandez said the National City Fire Department learned of the gas leak at East 8th Street at Olive Avenue at 10:30 a.m.

“Construction crews working in the area ruptured a very large 6-inch gas line,” Hernandez said.

The rupture happened right next to Ira Harbison Elementary School. Firefighters set up a perimeter and started evacuating 150 students and faculty members. Hernandez said they were brought to a safe location to be picked up by family.

Some nearby homes also were evacuated. An emergency shelter was established at the Camacho Gym located at 1810 E. 22nd Street.

SDG&E was on site and crews from San Diego Fire-Rescue, National City Fire Department and Chula Vista Fire Department responded to the area.

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