LAWRENCE, MASS. (WHDH) - More than 100 people were evacuated from a pair of markets in Lawrence after a gas leak Sunday, but residents and officials said they were thankful no one was hurt.

Firefighters responding to reports of a gas leak at a former factory building on Manchester Street at 11 a.m. found a subcontractor doing excavation work had struck and severed a high-pressure gas line, spewing gas into the air, according to Deputy Fire Chief Jack Meaney.

“There was combustible readings in the flammable range, a concern for us,” Meaney said.

People inside the building smelled the gas, and officials evacuated more than 100 people from a fruit market and neighboring flea market. Eversource crews worked to shut off the gas throughout the day.

Three years ago, a Lawrence teenager was killed after a series of gas explosions rocked the Merrimack Valley area, and Columbia Gas was fined $53 million for having overpressurized pipelines. Officials said that tragedy was on their minds during Sunday’s leak.

“A gas situation in the city, it’s a hectic situation,” said City Councilor Jeovanny Rodriguez. “We’re all aware, and we don’t want anything bad to happen because of that bad experience 3 years ago.”

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