Smelly soil prompts Durham evacuations

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People in the area suspected a gas leak.

A section of downtown Durham was evacuated Friday morning when people smelled what they thought was a gas leak.

After investigating, firefighters said the culprit was "contaminated soil" and they were working to determine the cause.

The incident happened in the same area of W. Main St. between Corcoran Street and Mangum Street where a contractor has been replacing a 150-foot stretch of 8-inch sewage pipe.

The work had to be done after city workers realized someone had dumped concrete into the city sewer system - damaging it.

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