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Five stores were evacuated in the Shoppers World shopping center in Waldorf on Wednesday due to a gas main break.

The break occurred in the 3300 block of Crain Highway behind Advance Auto Parts, said Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department Deputy Chief Jeff Duer. A contractor working on the auto parts store ruptured the underground line with equipment, Duer said.

Duer said volunteers received the call around 1:15 p.m. Wednesday for a break in a 2-inch main. Patrons and employees were cleared to return to the affected stores after approximately three hours.

The broken line was owned by Washington Gas, Duer said. On April 10, a contractor ruptured a Washington Gas-owned line in the Festival shopping center in Waldorf.

Duer said the break did not result in any physical injuries or property damage, and has since been fixed.

He urged anyone who might smell gas to evacuate the premises and call 911.

Lindsay Renner