Traffic in and around Westminster was snarled for about two hours yesterday after a contractor struck a natural gas line on Malcolm Drive near Route 140 just before afternoon rush hour, authorities said.
The gas line was struck in a construction zone along Malcolm Drive (Route 97) near Crossroads Shopping Center about 3:15 p.m., Westminster police said.
Authorities evacuated businesses and shopping centers while utility crews worked to repair the broken line, police said.
Eastbound motorists on Route 140 were turned around at Gorsuch Road or diverted through town to Main Street.
Westbound motorists were slowed and backed up as far as Finksburg.
Both lanes of Route 97 were closed from East Main Street to Route 140, police said.