Gas leak forces evacuations in downtown Montreal after construction crews hit pipe

Montreal police and firefighters evacuated the Eaton Centre, McGill Metro station and a few other businesses in downtown Montreal after a gas leak Thursday afternoon.

Leak occurred during Thursday afternoon rush hour near Sainte-Catherine St. and McGill College Ave.

Authorities got reports of a gas leak Thursday at around 3:30 p.m. in downtown Montreal. Buildings were evacuated and power was cut for several hours. (CBC)

A gas leak in downtown Montreal has now been contained, and power has been restored to the area.

The leak, which happened just before rush hour at the corner of Sainte-Catherine Street and McGill College Avenue, forced the evacuations of the Eaton Centre, McGill Metro station and a few other nearby businesses.

Energir, formerly known as Gaz Métro, said it received a call around 3:30 p.m. about a smell in the area.

It dispatched employees to the site, who found that a gas line was broken. It took crews about three hours to cap it. 

Energir said the break was caused by construction crews in the area who hit the pipe.

Metro service in the area was affected on the Green line. Trains were not stopping at the McGill station for several hours. Service was fully restored to the McGill station at around 7:30 p.m.

Power was cut for a few hours. It was fully restored in the downtown core just after 8 p.m.

While crews worked to repair the leak, police set-up a perimeter from René-Lévesque and Maisonneuve boulevards between Robert Bourassa and Metcalfe streets. That perimeter was also lifted shortly after 8 p.m. and all streets are now reopen to traffic.