A large chunk of falling ice punctured a natural gas line running to the Portland Museum of Art late Thursday morning, forcing the museum and the adjacent Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine to evacuate for about a half hour.

Crews from Unitil responded to the museum, at the corner of Free and High streets in downtown Portland, and shut off the gas.

They deemed the area safe shortly before 12:30 p.m. but stayed behind to repair the line.

An employee at the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine said the facility was moderately busy prior to the evacuation but said everything went smoothly.

A handful of nearby businesses, including Dogfish Cafe, Diversified Communications and MaineHealth, allowed museum patrons to wait out the evacuation in their buildings.

There was no obvious odor of gas inside or outside the two museums.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.