February 7, 2019 2:28 pm
Updated: February 8, 2019 7:33 am

Winnipeg Square evacuated due to gas leak

220 Portage and 360 Main St. in downtown Winnipeg were evacuated Thursday due to a gas leak.


Winnipeg Square was evacuated on Thursday due to a gas leak.

Manitoba Hydro says crews are no longer on scene on Friday, as they completed restorations overnight.

The leak, according to Hydro, occurred when a contractor working on Fort Street inadvertently hit an underground pipe.

Winnipeg police said the buildings at 220 Portage Avenue and 360 Main Street were evacuated due to the incident.

Just after 1:15 p.m., the City of Winnipeg said its fire crews were going floor-by-floor in the evacuated buildings to ensure all occupants had safely evacuated.

Many evacuees were reportedly at 201 Portage, and Winnipeg Transit set up some buses on Main Street and Pioneer Avenue to provide temporary shelter.

Melanie Choppeck, who works on the sixth floor at 360 Main, told Global News her building has been evacuated for the rest of Thursday, at least.

“The building’s closed for the rest of the day and they sent everyone home,” she said.

“We have a building status line to call just for updates, because most of us – including myself – our cars are in the parkade underground.

“So we might have tomorrow off, we might not.”

WATCH: Evacuees gather in several downtown buildings following the gas leak

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Another evacuee, Deloris Rintoul, said she knew something was amiss when she and her co-workers noticed a very strong gas smell.

“I’ve smelled worse gas, but it’s the idea that it’s there and you’re in a big tall concrete stair building, evacuating from the 28th floor,” she said.

“I got separated from my co-workers and I’m not even sure where we’re supposed to meet, because one of our muster points was on Fort Street.

“I think they’re in the Fairmont building, but I can’t get there because of the underground being closed, and I’m not walking outside.

“I think if (Portage and Main) was open, I might just scoot across there. I’m on the fence about that, but today would have been a good day.”

WATCH: Water flooded Winnipeg’s Portage and Main after a water main break

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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