Fast horses and high-octane racing meet low-and-slow cooking on the Cajun prairie _lowres

Photo by Ian McNulty - Part racecourse and casino, Evangeline Downs has a small town feel on race nights.

About 500 people were evacuated from the Evangeline Downs Racetrack and Casino in Opelousas after a gas leak Tuesday.

Opelousas Police spokesman Major Mark Guidry said the Opelousas Fire Department received a call about the leak around 3:30 p.m. after a contractor laying fiber lines ruptured a natural gas pipeline near the entrance to the casino and La. 31.

About 500 patrons and casino staff were evacuated from the area, he said.

No one was injured and there was no major risk to residents or businesses in the surrounding area, he said. As of 6 p.m., Guidry said it would take crews with CenterPoint Energy at least another three to four hours to repair the pipe damage.

Opelousas Police, Opelousas Fire and troopers with Louisiana State Police were on scene. 

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