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City Hall in East Chicago

EAST CHICAGO — About 210 customers will be without natural gas service as repairs are made following a leak around 11 a.m. this morning.

Repairs are estimated to be completed between 7 and 9 p.m. The relight process can be done for individual residents once the repairs are finished, according to Nick Meyer, director of external communications for NiSource.

About 15 families were evacuated Monday after a construction crew hit a gas line in the city's Harbor section, Fire Chief Anthony Serna said.

The incident began about 11 a.m. after the crew damaged a six-inch steel gas line in the 3500 block of Guthrie Street.

NIPSCO crews were on scene working to isolate and repair the leak, Serna said.

Families living in public housing on the block were evacuated, and residents in the nearby Hunter building for seniors were told to shelter in place, he said. 

No injuries were reported.

The area is safe, and natural gas was stopped earlier this afternoon. NiSource has been in close coordination with East Chicago Fire Department and the East Chicago Housing Authority to ensure safety and provide information, according to Meyer.

Evacuated residents were offered transportation on an East Chicago Transit bus to other East Chicago Housing Authority properties and the new Unity Plaza community center, Serna said.  

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Public Safety Reporter

Sarah covers crime, federal courts and breaking news for The Times. She joined the paper in 2004 after graduating from Purdue University Calumet.