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Outbound Southwest Fwy reopens after gas line rupture fixed

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Several outbound lanes of the Southwest Freeway are expected to reopen earlier than the five hours that officials feared as crews were able to stop a gas leak.

Houston Fire Department said the southbound feeder road at Shepherd will remain closed for repairs in the wake of the leak that first emerged Wednesday morning.

Just before noon, the Houston Office of Emergency Management warned that the outside two lanes of the freeway at Shepherd could have closed for two to five hours.

According to HFD, a three-inch pipe was broken by an excavator that was part of construction in the area. Calls of the leak first came in at 8:47 a.m.

There was no shelter-in-place order, but people were being asked to avoid the area.

Crews were able to tap the incident out at about 1 p.m.

Earlier in the midst of the emergency incident, SkyEye from above captured multiple fire engines along Lexington Street just off Shepherd, as well as heavy construction equipment at the apparent point of the break.

One employee said he could smell an odor and hear hissing as he passed by the area on the freeway. He also reported a nearby building was evacuated. The fire department later clarified that no evacuations were officially ordered.

There were no injuries reported.

HFD also said there’s no threat to the public, but air quality was being monitored.

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