A Tauranga neighbourhood has been evacuated after a digger ruptured a gas main in 8th Ave today.

The FIre and Emergency New Zealand responded by sending two trucks to the scene of the rupture on 8th Ave.

Fire communications shift manager Scott Osmond said one crew approached from the 7th Ave East cul-de-sac while the other truck was parked on 8th Ave.

The rupture happened shortly after 1pm and was still a live leak by about half an hour later. Osmond said a number of properties were evacuated in the area as a precaution.

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The firefighters were being assisted by a technician from First Gas.