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120 people, including 75 preschoolers, evacuated for gas leak, officials say

A gas leak led to the evacuation of about 120 people, including 75 preschool children, Wednesday morning in Westhampton Beach, police and a National Grid representative said.

Westhampton Beach police stressed that the children, students at Bright Beginnings at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, were never in danger and were evacuated out of "an abundance of caution."

Suffolk County fire officials said a 911 call reporting the gas leak was received at 9:39 a.m. and firefighters from Westhampton Beach and Quogue responded along with a crew from National Grid. There were no reported injuries.

National Grid said the reported gas odor was located at 46 Main St. and that firefighters evacuated people at six nearby buildings. It said the responding crew located "a damaged main" caused by an outside contractor.

"We made conditions safe," National Grid said in a statement to Newsday.

It was not clear what work the outside contractor was undertaking when the damage occurred, but the Village of Westhampton Beach is conducting a complete overhaul of Main Street, which is closed to all traffic except pedestrians. The Village website said that as a result of the Main Street Improvement Project the road was closed to vehicular traffic as of Sept. 16 and will remain closed until next year. 

National Grid said all occupants were allowed back in the buildings, but the preschool students were dismissed for the day.

Calls to St. Mark's and to Bright Beginnings were not immediately returned Wednesday.

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