Hazardous material crews evacuated two homes near 50th Street and Alvo Road Tuesday morning after a private contractor hit a natural gas supply line, Lincoln fire officials said.

The leak was reported at 8 a.m., and it took workers about 2½ hours to get the gas to the area shut off, but no one was hurt, said acting Lincoln Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Troy Hurd.

Evacuated residents were allowed to return to their homes a short time later, Hurd said.

The contractor was installing new utility lines in the area when a backhoe hit the high-pressure, 6-inch plastic line that supplies the developing area with natural gas, he said.

Riley Johnson reports on breaking news and public safety issues in Lincoln and southeast Nebraska.

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