ABSECON - Residents forced to evacuate their homes early Monday due to a broken gas main were allowed back in by 3 p.m.

Police, fire and utility crews responded to a broken gas main around 8:30 a.m. on Berkley Avenue.

The rupture was caused by a construction crew, said Absecon Police Chief David Risley.

“Construction crews were doing work in the area when they hit a gas main,” he said. “The street was evacuated but most people weren't home because they were at work.”

Workers initially could not shut the main off using a valve and were forced to clamp the main shut manually.

The main was closed off shortly before 11 a.m.

By 3 p.m., the roads were reopened and residents were allowed back into their homes, police said. The crews will return Tuesday morning to complete additional work.