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UPDATE: Part of Front Street Shut Down Due to MAH Gas Leak

A gas leak at the Museum of Art and History is being investigated by PG&E. The 600-700 blocks of the street are expected to be shut down for the next three hours.

Updated at 2:40 p.m.: The same dispatcher at the 911 call center who asked to remain anonymous said that the "gas is no longer leaking," PG&E is patching up the pipe and that the evacuation for the MAH has been lifted.

Authorities are in the process of lifting up the street barricades and the street is set to reopen soon.

A gas leak on the exterior of the caused the part of Front Street between Cooper Street and Soquel Avenue to be shut down for three hours today, according to the .

According to a dispatcher at the 911 call center who asked not to be named, the smell of propane was reported at the MAH at 11:38 a.m. this morning.

PG&E arrived after a contractor working in the area near the exterior gas meters where the leak generated alerted them to the leak.

The MAH and surronding buildings were evacuated after the SCPD and the Santa Cruz Fire Department responded to the scene and police and Public Works proceeded to close off Front Street to traffic from Soquel Avenue and Cooper Street.

"PG&E is evaluating how to fix [the leak]," the dispatcher said of the leak's status. "The message that went out over the radio is that there appears to be a two inch line that is leaking in a pipe. It's not broken but that's pretty big."

Crews successfully stopped the leak by digging up the street and sidewalk and crimping off the gas line supplying the three service meters, a media release sent out by the SCFD states.

A total of 13 firefighters were on scene as well as three fire engines, one ladder truck and one battalion chief.

The leak was reportedly caused by an unknown subject who leaned against exterior gas meters, causing them to fall over and severing the gas line, according to the release.

Santa Cruz Patch will update the story if and when details become available.

—Bay City News Contributed to this report

John Colby May 23, 2012 at 12:14 AM
The article: "The leak was reportedly caused by a PG&E customer working on private property, PG&E spokeswoman Monica Tell said." Thank G-d that this person noticed the gas odor and reported it promptly. This could have resulted in serious damages and injuries. Remember San Bruno.
Michelle Fitzsimmons May 23, 2012 at 04:55 PM
the article has been updated with some new info, John. Just FYI. I agree! Could have been much worse...

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