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GAS LINE RUPTURE FORCES HAMBURG KMART EVACUATION

The accidental rupture of a natural-gas line forced authorities to evacuate the Kmart store on South Park Avenue in Hamburg late Monday morning, town fire and police officials said.

A forklift struck an overhead space heater, rupturing the line and filling the back of the store with natural gas. An employee quickly shut off the gas, just before 11 a.m.

"We evacuated the entire store for safety purposes, because some of the residual gas made it into the customer part of the store," Scranton Fire Chief Michael Guadagno said.

The store reopened about 45 minutes to an hour later, authorities said.

One employee was treated at the scene for a stomach ache.

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