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Gas leak forces evacuation in Olivia, Minn., including nursing home

OLIVIA -- The Olivia Police Department evacuated the northwest corner of the community for a couple hours Thursday afternoon, including residents of the Golden Living Center nursing facility, due to a report of a gas leak.

Law enforcement received the report of the underground gas leak at about 1:30 p.m., and the all-clear was issued just after 4 p.m. Thursday.

According to a news release from Olivia Police Officer Brian Stenholm, who also serves as the city's emergency management director, Centerpoint Energy staff reported that they had detected a leak and found the gas had entered the 4-inch drain tile on the 1000 block of Walnut Avenue.

Ninth Street North in Olivia had remained open, but police directed people away from cross streets in the area and evacuated residents in an area from Elm Avenue to Maple Avenue and Ninth Street North to 12th Street North.

The evacuation affected about 85 to 100 people in the area, according to Stenholm.

Residents of the Golden Living Center were transported to St. Aloysius Church during the evacuation by Palmer Bus, Heartland Express and the Olivia Ambulance, the release said.

There were no reports of injuries, and utility workers were able to repair the problem, according to information from the Renville County Sheriff's Office.

Olivia police, Olivia Ambulance Service and Olivia Fire Departments were on scene, along with the Sheriff's Office.

Stenholm said in the release that the Olivia Police Department encourages the public to call 911 immediately if they smell gas or spot other dangers.