A natural gas leak at the La Mirage Apartments in the Grantville area prompted resident evacuations Friday morning, officials said.
According to Lee Swanson with the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD), officials were alerted to the gas leak just after 11:30 a.m. at the very large apartment complex located at 6554 Ambrosia Dr.
As of 12:20 p.m., officials said approximately 160 residents had been evacuated from their homes due to the gas leak, which caused a strong, lingering odor.
Swanson said the cause of the leak is under investigation, but it appears it was caused by workers who accidentally struck a gas line.
SDFD Battalion Chief Dan Froelich said the 1-inch gas line was struck by a backhoe in an area of the complex that's under construction.
“The gas is being released into the air and dissipating; you can hear it,” Froelich explained. “We’ve evacuated about 160 occupants from five different complexes.”
Froelich said fire crews remained on scene in case any type of small fire broke out as a result of the natural gas leak. He said it was fortunate that the leak happened in an unoccupied area of the apartment complex, away from residents.
San Diego Gas & Electric crews were called to the complex to assist. Froelich said crews hoped to complete repairs within a couple of hours so evacuated residents could return to their homes.