The construction crew struck the gas line about 1:20 p.m., prompting police and fire to close the area to traffic, Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.
Soon after the gas leak, the Fire Department's Hazmat crew walked through the neighborhood to test for explosive limits, which determines whether gas levels can be combustive, Rifino said.
Once the crew determined the area was potentially explosive, the Fire Department evacuated nearby businesses as well as a 27-unit apartment building in the 1000 block of Western Avenue, Rifino added.
City officials worked on a traffic-flow plan as crews from the Southern California Gas Company worked to repair the gas line, said Brandy Villanueva, Glendale Fire Department spokeswoman.
Four streets — Justin and Raymond avenues, Glenoaks Boulevard and Flower Street — were blocked off to traffic, she said.
The gas company crew was working well into the night on applying shut-off valves to the main gas pipe. Once they did that, they planned to repair the pipe, Rifino said.
Crews planned to reopen the roads no later than midnight, he added.
The Salvation Army set up a temporary shelter at Toll Middle School for residents who were displaced as a result of the incident. The Salvation Army provided food and coffee at the school for residents.
-- Veronica Rocha, Times Community News