Mall evacuated after gas line breaks

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University Town Center MallSAN DIEGO — Several businesses and a restaurant at the Westfield UTC Mall were evacuated Thursday after a tractor struck a natural gas line nearby, according to fire officials.

The tractor broke the one-and-a-quarter inch gas service line near the mall on La Jolla Village Drive near Genesee Avenue about 11:50 a.m., although it was unclear how it happened, according to a San Diego Fire-Rescue Department dispatcher and San Diego Gas & Electric.

Six businesses were evacuated, and the county’s health department was called to the restaurant, the SDFRD dispatcher said.

“It is a precaution when there is a gas leak in the area that there may be evacuations in some instances,” SDG&E spokeswoman Amber Albrecht said.

Two department stores were left without gas, and SDG&E crews de- energized a nearby transformer which caused 10 businesses in the mall to lose electrical power, Albrecht said.

Albrecht said crews were working to make repairs and expected to have the gas leak under control by about 3 p.m., but it was unclear when electrical power will be restored.

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