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More Than 60 Hospitalized After Gas Leak

June 10, 1995

RENO, Nev. (AP) _ A backhoe ruptured a gas main near a casino construction site on Friday, sickening 61 people and forcing the evacuation of several downtown blocks.

People went to hospitals complaining of nausea, light-headedness, vomiting and eye irritation. Five of the 61 were admitted, authorities said.

Patients included tourists from the 1,600-room Circus Circus Hotel & Casino and construction workers at the $350-million Silver Legacy Resort next door.

The leak was capped within an hour, but a six-square-block area remained cordoned off for about another hour while crews checked buildings for pockets of gas.

About six hours after the first leak, the same backhoe from the same construction company dug into another line about 50 yards away. The leak was capped within minutes, said Karl Wahlquist, a Sierra Pacific Power Co. spokesman.

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