San Diego

Several dozen residents of a Mira Mesa apartment complex were evacuated Friday evening after a backhoe tore a hole in a natural gas main, police and utility officials said.

Police said they ordered 35 to 40 people out of the apartment complex in the 9900 block of Maya Linda Drive after gas began escaping from the gash in a two-inch main shortly before 7 p.m.

Maurice Luque, a spokesman for San Diego Gas & Electric Co., said utility workers had shut off the leak by 7:50. Police said the residents would be allowed to return home by 9 p.m.

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