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Twelve treated in hospital after gas leak in city street

By Donna Deeney

Published 28/07/2015

Emergency personnel at the scene of the gas leak yesterday
Emergency personnel at the scene of the gas leak yesterday

Twelve people who were taken to Altnagelvin hospital's Accident and Emergency as a result of a gas leak in the Waterside have been released.

One man and 11 women were admitted for treatment yesterday afternoon after feeling nauseous and suffering from headaches, although none of effects was life-threatening.

A number of ambulances ferried the patients to the hospital.

A large section of Spencer Road was cordoned off to traffic and pedestrians after gas was reported in the area shortly after noon.

It is believed a faulty underground electrical cable caused a blaze which, in turn, led to carbon monoxide leaking out.

One witness said he was alarmed to be told the gas was deadly carbon monoxide.

Joseph Costello said: "I thought there must be a fire even though I couldn't see any smoke or flames but I was surprised when another man me it was a gas leak but I couldn't really smell anything.

"I heard since that it was carbon monoxide which is a bit scary when you think about the number of people who died after being exposed to it and you can't smell it."

Three fire appliances attended along with PSNI officers who put traffic diversions in place while the Fire Service investigated the source of the leak.

A spokesman for the Fire Service later said: "It is believed the electrical fire caused a release of carbon monoxide gas into the area. A number of people have been treated and a number of properties have been evacuated."

A spokeswoman for Northern Ireland Electricity said: "NIE emergency crews were on site and worked to repair a fault in an underground electricity cable which left a number of properties without power."

SDLP councillor Martin Reilly praised the swift actions of emergency services. He said: "I know the effects of carbon monoxide can be fatal so I welcome the prompt action of emergency services."

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