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LIRR says gas-leak delay has been resolved on Hempstead branch

A gas leak by the Garden City tracks briefly delayed a few late morning trains Thursday on the Long Island Rail Road’s Hempstead branch, officials said.

National Grid, Garden City police officers and firefighters cleared the problem around 11:45 a.m., the LIRR said, a little more than half an hour or so after the railroad said the eastbound 11:05 a.m. train heading for Hempstead was temporarily held at the Atlantic Terminal.

The gas leak was pinned on construction at Adelphi University’s University Center, and a school spokeswoman said everyone on campus was told to evacuate all buildings at about 11 a.m. before the "all clear" was announced around an hour later.

Adelphi spokeswoman Taylor Damian, by telephone, said the University Center is located across the street from the tracks. The University Center and its cafeteria are not open during the renovation. About a couple hundred people were evacuated, Damian said.

The holdup happened just hours after the LIRR said trains were operating on or close to schedule through New Hyde Park following earlier switch trouble in the area that caused delays.

Thursday morning riders on three branches that travel east or west through New Hyde Park had been told they should plan for residual delays after the switch problem was fixed.

The problem affected three branches: Oyster Bay, Ronkonkoma and Port Jefferson.

The issue began just before 8:45 a.m. and lasted about a half-hour, the railroad said.

"We no longer anticipate any related delays," a LIRR alert said around 9:40 a.m.

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