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Dickinson businesses evacuated when natural gas line damaged

At least three businesses north of Dickinson were evacuated after a natural gas line was damaged Tuesday morning, said Andy Paulson, Dickinson Rural Fire chief.

"The businesses that were right there, we had them move out just for safety precautions," he said. "As soon as the leak was stopped, then everybody was allowed back to normal business."

The gas did not ignite and nobody was injured during the incident, he added.

The incident occurred when Master Construction was boring under 32nd Street Southwest and cut a Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. two-inch gas line, Paulson said.

"Gas blew for about 70 minutes until we were able to get things shut off safely and then we made the repairs," said Mark Hanson, MDU spokesperson.

Two MDU customers were without gas until the pipe was fixed Tuesday afternoon. He was unsure how much gas was released.

"This can be a general reminder to everyone -- April is national safe digging month," Hanson said. "Whether you're doing something to your yard or whatever, people should call 811 before you dig and someone will come out and OK underground utilities."