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Gamblers, Workers Flee Gas Leak

A backhoe ruptured a 4-inch gas main today, making at least 27 people ill and forcing several square blocks of downtown to be evacuated.

The natural gas leak was capped in about 30 minutes, but the area around the site remained cordoned off as fire crews checked buildings to ventilate any dangerous pockets of gas.

The Circus Circus Hotel Casino was among the buildings emptied, and workers at the $350 million Silver Legacy Resort under construction across the street also were forced to leave.

Reno Police Lt. Ken Bunker said the gas break occurred around 9 a.m.

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