Gas leak forces evacuation of Southern California homes; no injuries reported

WHITTIER, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California neighborhood was evacuated for more than six hours early Thursday due to a large leak of natural gas from an underground pipe, authorities said.

The leak was detected around 1:30 a.m. in unincorporated West Whittier, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) southeast of downtown Los Angeles.

An investigation determined the gas was leaking from a 3-inch (7.6-centimeter) line and crews were sent to make repairs, Southern California Gas Co. said in a statement.

About 75 people were sent to an evacuation center set up at a school.

The residents were allowed to begin returning home around 8 a.m., said Craig Little, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Fire Department. No injuries were reported.

The cause of the leak remained under investigation, Little said.

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