Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 08:30

PG&E Corp. has contained a natural gas leak from a pipe that exploded on Wednesday along a major thoroughfare in San Francisco, engulfing in flames a stretch known for its bars and restaurants.

The blaze, which had spread to at least five buildings as of Wednesday afternoon, triggered an evacuation order for people within a block of the site on Geary Boulevard — a major artery that leads into downtown San Francisco. Eight workers near the explosion were accounted for and no injuries were reported, San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White told reporters.

Workers may have struck the distribution pipeline while installing fiber-optic equipment beneath the street, she said. Helicopter footage of the fire scene showed a blackened backhoe near the source of the flames. The flames burned for about two and a half hours before the fire department reported that the flow of gas had been shut off.

About 300 PG&E customers were without gas service Wednesday evening, company spokeswoman Melissa Subbotin said. Roughly 2,500 customers lost electricity service, because the flames damaged an overhead power line.

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