BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - A major gas leak forced evacuations on Nicollet Avenue near West 96th Street in Bloomington Thursday.

According to tweets from the Bloomington Fire Department, homes were evacuated around 9:45 a.m., as natural gas continued to flow. About an hour later, the leak was stopped and the gas was contained.

Between 30 and 40 people were evacuated. Those evacuated were allowed back in their homes shortly after noon.

Authorities at the scene said the leak occurred during some maintenance work in the area.

Nate Toedter, with CenterPoint Energy, said a small valve malfunctioned, causing the leak of a highly pressurized line.

People evacuated were told to seek shelter at Fire Station 1.

A strong odor of gas continued to move through, as Bloomington Fire warned residents to avoid the area.

CenterPoint Energy was on scene to monitor the air quality. They said around noon the repairs were made to the valve.