Forensic DNA analyst is seen working in the Maine state crime lab in Augusta in this 2001 file photo. Credit: Caleb Raynor

The Maine State Police Crime Lab in Augusta was temporarily evacuated Thursday morning after a possible gas leak.

Employees in the crime lab detected a “subtle smell” about 9 a.m., prompting an evacuation, said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

About 20 employees were evacuated, and they returned to the lab about 10:10 a.m. after they were given the all clear from the Augusta Fire Department, McCausland said. He said some employees evacuated from the nearby Troop D barracks, which wasn’t affected. The Maine medical examiner’s office wasn’t affected.

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McCausland said officials from Maine Natural Gas were investigating, but there was no immediate word about whether there was a gas leak.

The lab is at 26 Hospital St.

This comes after a Sept. 16 gas explosion in Farmington that leveled a two-story building housing a nonprofit serving adults with developmental disabilities, killing one firefighter and injuring six others and the building’s maintenance manager. The Kennebec Journal reports that there has been an increased vigilance in the wake of the deadly blast, with some fire departments reporting more calls about potential gas leaks.