NORTH SIDE (KDKA) – About 12 people on the North Side were forced to evacuate their homes after construction crews struck a natural gas line Thursday night.

According to officials, Equitable Gas crews were working on East Jefferson Street around 10 p.m. when they ruptured the line.

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Residents were then forced to leave their homes while crews worked to repair the line.

“It was [kind of] bad. I don’t think anybody wanted to light any matches or anything around here,” Janie Campbell said.

An 8-inch main was torn open and spewed countless cubic feet of highly explosive natural gas into the air.

Equitable Gas and Pittsburgh emergency officials were worried about the potential for an explosion and made the call for everyone to leave the area.

“Rudely awoken to someone pounding on my door shining a flashlight through the mail slot telling us we needed to get out,” Ben Hayes said.

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It took several hours for the leak to be secured, but doors remained open so residences could air out.

In addition to the gas being cut off, the homes also had their power shut off to minimize the risk of an explosion.

Around 8 a.m. Friday, the all-clear was given and residents were allowed to go back in their homes..

The investigation into what caused the leak in underway.

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