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A gas leak forced businesses on the north side of Iowa City to evacuate Thursday night after a construction crew struck a gas line.

Iowa City Fire Department crews arrived on the scene around 6 p.m. Thursday after the line break, which was in the alley next to Hamburg Inn No. 2. Fire trucks, a police squad car and an ambulance blocked the roadways of about a block of Market Street and the connected block of North Linn Street.

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Restaurants and businesses on the east side of the block of North Linn Street evacuated around 6:30 p.m.

MidAmerican Energy crews headed to the scene to fix the line break, fire department Battalion Chief Eric Nurnberg said. He didn’t know how long it would take to repair the line.

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Nurnberg said firefighters would remain on the scene until the line is repaired then check for any lingering gas before allowing anyone to re-enter the buildings.

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