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Construction workers puncture gas line in Detroit Lakes

Detroit Lakes firefighters were on the ready Monday after a construction crew severed a two-inch gas line while working on a bridge project on Lori Avenue in Detroit Lakes. (Brian Basham/Tribune)

Landwehr Construction Inc. crews working on replacing the Lori Avenue bridge punctured a gas line and resulted in the evacuation of two homes Monday afternoon.

The Detroit Lakes Police and Fire Departments were called into the scene at Pembina Trail and Lori Avenue around 4 p.m. and remained there for almost one hour to resolve the mishap.

Firefighters worked to contain the two-inch severed gas line by digging one hole into the ground that was unsuccessful due to some old road debris, Fire Chief Jeff Swanson said.

So they tried again with a second hole -- about 48 inches down -- until the gas leak was secured.

Swanson called the accident a "drastic leak" but not unusual. "These things happen," he said.

People living in the area were advised to stay home with their windows shut until the situation was resolved.

Witnesses on the scene say they could smell gas odor for the first 30 minutes of the accidents. No injuries were reported and occupants of the two homes that were evacuated were able to return just after 5 p.m.

Minnesota Energy Resources was also called to the scene.