A gas leak Tuesday afternoon just south of downtown Omaha led to local evacuations and a temporary halt at the city’s main post office.

A crew working on the site of a row-house construction project severed a gas line at 11th and Briggs Streets, according to the Metropolitan Utilities District.

The break, apparently unrelated to one earlier in the day about 10 blocks to the north, occurred at about 3:30 p.m., said Tracey Christensen, an MUD spokeswoman. Briggs lies between Poppleton Avenue and Williams Street, about four blocks south of the post office.

About 10 minutes after the line was struck, gas could be smelled inside the post office. Mike Dornbusch, a senior supervisor there, decided to evacuate the roughly 250 employees.

The smell “was not really strong, but I made the call to get everybody out,” he said.

At about 4:30 p.m., police said the line had been capped and people were allowed back in.

Christensen said 11 customers were affected by the temporary gas shutoff and said a crew was repairing the line. She expected service to be restored by later in the evening.

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