Nov 30, 2012 7:29 PM by The Associated Press

Highway 99 near Madera reopens after AM shutdown

MADERA, Calif. (AP) - The California Highway Patrol say Highway 99 has reopened in both directions just south of Madera after being closed all morning due to a gas main rupture.

CHP Officer Marc McWilliams says the freeway's northbound and southbound lanes were shut down Friday morning after a tractor struck a gas main, causing a small explosion, a fire and a gas leak. Rail traffic in the area was also halted.

PG&E spokeswoman Brittany Chord says there have been no injuries. Several residents and businesses in the area were evacuated.

Crews were able to shut off the gas that was blowing off the ruptured pipe. The concentration of gas has gone down.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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