Warrington centre evacuated after gas pipe hit

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Warrington town centre was evacuated for two hours today after a major gas leak, police said.

Warrington town centre was evacuated for two hours today after a major gas leak, police said.

It is thought a contractor in the area hit a gas main shortly after 10am.

The town centre was evacuated at 10.07am and road closures were put in place, Cheshire Police said. An exclusion zone with a 700-metre radius was set up and thousands of people were ordered to leave.

Gas transporter Transco said a pipe was damaged by contractor Bovis during work on Golbourne Street as part of the redevelopment of Warrington town centre.

A Transco spokeswoman said: "We got the first of about a dozen reports of the smell of gas at 10am. We had engineers on site at 10.24am. The contractor damaged a medium pressure plastic gas pipe. It is quite a small pipe, not a gas main."

Among the buildings closed by police were the crown court, the town hall, and the bus station, as well as hotels, shops, businesses and houses.

The Health Secretary John Reid was due to visit the town's hospital this afternoon as the row over the plight of pensioner Margaret Dixon continued.

Mrs Dixon, 69, has had her high-risk operation cancelled seven times and today invited Mr Reid to visit her at her home in Warrington.

Tory leader Michael Howard clashed with Prime Minister Tony Blair yesterday over the case of Mrs Dixon.

Comments