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1:40 PM: Bay City News’ Saul Sugarman is reporting that police have shut down 18th Street between Castro and Collingwood due to a possible gas leak, and Muni has been rerouted as a precaution requested by the SFPD.

“It could be a gas leak, but we are still investigating and can’t confirm anything,” San Francisco police spokeswoman Lt. Lyn Tomioka told Sugarman

Service on the 24 Divisadero, 33 Stanyan 35 Eureka, and 37 Corbett must reroute around the area, and Muni Metro service both inbound and outbound is not stopping at Castro Station as a precaution requested by the SFPD.

SFist reports that an evacuation’s been ordered. What do you know? Let’s hear it.

1:45 PM: Alert SF confirms the leak, saying a high pressured gas line has been ruptured by workers using a backhoe at 18th and Castro.

SFPD, they say, is asking residents to shelter in place. The wind is moving the smell of gas north. There is no fire at this time.

They ask folks to stay away from the affected area, which is 18th between Collingswood and Hartford and Castro and Market Streets.

2:50 PM: The BAR has a lengthy and comprehensive report.

They report that the rupture to the 2-inch plastic distribution line was caused by a private contractor doing work on Castro Street near Walgreens. “A loud hissing” can be heard in the area, from the ruptured line, which is “not a transmission line; it is a service line which is smaller” SFFD spokesperson Lt. Mindy Talmadge said.

PG&E thinks it’ll take 2 hours to repair. The reason? For safety reasons, a PG&E spokesman said, crews are digging by hand to reach the line and will then squeeze it off.

According to Bay City News, Talmadge said businesses in the area have been evacuated.

SFPD spokesperson Sgt. Lyn Tomioka said 18th Street remains closed between Castro and Collingwood streets, and the 400 and 500 blocks of Castro Street have been shut down. Police are asking nearby residents to stay indoors for the time being.

Muni remains rerouted around the area, and Muni Metro is not stopping at Castro station.

3:33 PM: Whew! AlertSf says that the ruptured line’s been shut off, yay.

Repair work, they say, will take 4 more hours, and the 400 block of Castro Street will continue to be closed for another 2-3 hours.

3:50 PM: According to the SFMTA, the Muni Metro Castro station reopened at 3:25, but news is less good for area bus passengers bus service is still being rerouted around the area.

Muni says that “(a)ccording to the Department of Emergency Management, the estimated time for repairs is four hours” so it might be a while before the 24 Divisadero, 33 Stanyan 35 Eureka, and 37 Corbett lines are back to normal.

Muni Metro baseball service, they hasten to add, has not been affected.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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