Gas Leak Disrupts Castro

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A gas leak in the Castro.

     Police closed down streets in San Francisco's Castro District Thursday afternoon because of a gas leak.

    A private contractor hit a high-pressure gas line with a backhoe  while working at 18th and Castro streets at about 1 p.m., San Francisco fire  spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said.

    Officials believe the line that was hit is a 2-inch service line,  but will not know for sure until PG&Ecrews assess the situation, Talmadge  said.

    The smell of gas was reported in the 500 block of Castro Street  just after 1 p.m., prompting the evacuation of pedestrians and motorists from  the area, police spokeswoman Lt. Lyn Tomioka said.

     Talmadge said businesses in the area have been evacuated.

    Tomioka said 18th Street is closed between Castro and Collingwood  streets, and the 400 and 500 blocks of Castro Street have been shut down.

    Police are asking nearby residents to stay indoors for the time  being.

     The wind is moving the smell of gas north, and there have been no  reports of fire, according to Alert SF, a citywide e-mail alert system.

    Some San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency bus routes have  been affected by the leak, including the 24-Divisadero, 33-Stanyan,  35-Eureka, and 37-Corbett.

    Inbound and outbound Muni Metro service is not stopping at the  Castro Station, per request of San Francisco police.

     No injuries have been reported.