A gas line break in Columbia has forced the evacuation of a Stephens College residence hall.

The Columbia Fire Department says a contractor installing fiber optic line hit the gas pipe around 11:25 a.m. Tuesday. Firefighters responded the scene and Ameren crews shut off the gas by 12:45 p.m.

The gas leak was fixed promptly, but fire crews stayed on the scene for nearly three hours to ventilate Columbia Hall at Stephens College.

Less than 12 residents were evacuated as a precaution and the college is moving those residents to the visitor's center for the night.