Walt Whitman Shops briefly evacuated in gas-line break

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A ruptured gas line at the Walt Whitman Shops in South Huntington on Monday forced the evacuation of about 200 people from a variety of stores in the mall, a spokeswoman for National Grid said.

A contractor hit a gas service line while operating a snowplow about 2:06 p.m., and fire officials evacuated several shops, the spokeswoman said.

The line was repaired and people were allowed back into the mall about 2:49 p.m., the spokeswoman said.

At about 5:30 p.m., the mall remained open, though two stores and one mall entrance near Saks Fifth Avenue were closed. Shoppers roamed through the mall, some saying they detected a hint of natural gas remaining in the air.

A Suffolk County police spokesman said no injuries were reported.

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