Homes in Newtownards town centre were evacuated for a number of hours following a gas leak yesterday morning.
The leak at Mill Street in the Co Down town also led to a road closure for a period during rush hour, at 8.30am.
In a statement, Phoenix Natural Gas explained: "The damage incurred to the pipeline was due to the actions of a third party contractor and was not in any way caused by or related to the operations or conduct of Phoenix Natural Gas.
"Phoenix Natural Gas engineering teams responded to this incident and made a temporary repair to the pipeline, working alongside the emergency services to make safe the area.
"A number of residents of Mill House apartment block were temporarily evacuated to facilitate safety checks of the area.
"Following a PSNI road closure, Mill Street was reopened to traffic at approximately 10.15am and residents returned to Mill House apartment block."