The gas leak caused by a construction crew happened around Gilman and Eighth. Image: Google Maps

A gas leak in the area of Gilman Street and Eighth Street in Northwest Berkeley prompted authorities to evacuate residents from several blocks late on Thursday afternoon.

According to Berkeley’s Deputy Fire Chief David Brannigan, the call came in around 5 p.m. that a construction crew had caused a leak in a pressurized natural gas line. Emergency responders, including Berkeley Fire and Berkeley Police, went to the scene.

Brannigan said it took PG&E about one hour to get to the scene and control the leak. The all-clear was given around 6:15 p.m.

The city sent out two targeted alerts about the gas leak, using both the Berkeley Emergency Notification System (BENS) and the newer AC Alert disaster alert system which is being phased in to replace BENS.

Brannigan said the alerts were sent to a targeted area two blocks in each direction from where the gas leak occurred — from Ninth Street to Sixth Street, and from Harrison to Camelia.

AC Alert will take the place of the Berkeley Emergency Notification System July 1. The Berkeley Police Department will continue to use the Nixle system for the time being, though Nixle and AC Alert may become integrated down the line.

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...