Gas leak prompts apartment evacuations in Westlake District

Authorities investigate a gas leak that prompted the evacuation of an apartment building in the Westlake district of Los Angeles.

More than 100 people have been evacuated from two apartment buildings in the Westlake District after a natural gas leak caused a minor explosion and sent flames shooting up from the sidewalk.

The Fire Department says the leak Friday night caused smoke and 2-inch-high flames to flare through a sidewalk crack and also caused what sounded like a minor blast in an underground utility vault.

There wasn’t any serious damage, but concerns about the gas leak prompted officials to evacuate as many as 120 people from two apartment buildings. An American Red Cross shelter has been opened.

The Fire Department is working with Southern California Gas Co. to determine the source of the leak. Electricity in the area has been turned off as a precaution.