Gas Leak Prompts Evacuation in Downtown San Jose

Residents and businesses fled a two-block area of downtown after construction workers ruptured a gas line Friday morning.

The construction crew working on the 23-story high-rise at 1 S. Market St. breached a 4-inch gas line just after 11am. Authorities ordered an evacuation and shelter-in-place while PG&E works on capping the escaping gas, the scent of which is noticeable several blocks away.

Santa Clara Street remained closed between First and San Pedro streets as of 1:20pm. The farmers market is business as usual, but the leak caused a nearby health fair for the homeless to shut down.

The Valley Transportation Authority has re-directed bus lines 22, 68 and 522, and San Jose police and firefighters are on scene to help with crowd control and traffic.

"The immediate hazard is that the gas could ignite," city spokesman David Vossbrink told San Jose Inside. "The other concern is that people are in enclosed places and could be exposed."

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