ORONO, Maine — A natural gas leak forced emergency crews to shut down Park Street Tuesday morning and evacuate nearby apartments.

The Orono Fire Department shut down the road shortly before 10 a.m. and sent out a Tweet urging people to avoid the area.

Orono fire Capt. Bryan Hardison said at the scene, near Orono House of Pizza, that a contractor working on a water main project along Park Street broke a 2-inch natural gas service line while digging with an excavator.

“We shut down Route 2 for a time and called in Old Town Fire Department for mutual support,” Hardison said.

The broken ends of the pipe were clamped off and Bangor Natural Gas crews shut down service to the line. The main line wasn’t affected.

Soon after, residents of nearby apartments were allowed to go home.

Route 2 was closed between Rangeley Road and Colburn Drive for a little more than an hour, and approaching vehicles were directed to turn around and find another route.

The road reopened around 11 a.m.

Follow Nick McCrea on Twitter at @nmccrea213.

BDN writer Nok-Noi Ricker contributed to this report.