AUGUSTA — A gas leak at the Maine State Police Crime Laboratory was resolved Thursday morning, a little less than two hours after employees evacuated the building when there was a reported odor of gas at the building.

Augusta firefighters accompany gas technicians Thursday to check for a leak at the Maine State Police Crime Laboratory in Augusta. Kennebec Journal photo by Andy Molloy

Department of Public Safety spokesperson Steve McCausland said lab personnel detected the odor and the Augusta Fire Department responded to the leak around 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

He said the leak was resolved and about 20 employees were allowed to reenter the lab at 26 Hospital St. around 10:10 a.m. McCausland said some employees at the Maine State Police Troop D barracks were told of the leak, but not evacuated.

McCausland said officials from Maine Natural Gas came to the site, but he did not know if a cause had been determined as of 12:45 p.m.

Maine Natural Gas spokesperson Catharine Hartnett was not available for comment by press time.

The lab, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and Maine State Police Troop D barracks and several nearby homes were evacuated on July 15 after an excavator hit a natural gas line. McCausland did not know if the July incident and Thursday’s incident were related.

Central Maine fire department officials told the Kennebec Journal earlier this month that departments are hearing more gas-related calls in the wake of the fatal explosion in Farmington. Capt. Michael Bell of the Farmington Fire Rescue Department was killed in an explosion earlier this month at the Life Enrichment Advancing People central office at 313 Farmington Falls Road. Investigators said more than 400 gallons of propane leaked before the explosion.

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