Belfast Telegraph

Alert after Newtownards gas mains ruptured by workers

Homes and businesses were evacuated in Newtownards after a suspected gas leak.

High Street and Regent Street were cordoned off in the Co Down town on Tuesday morning. It has since been reopened.

Emergency services and Phoenix Gas engineers attended at the scene. Residents have said firefighters called to their doors urging them to leave their homes.

The Fire Service said the incident was centred at the Millers House Apartments on Regent Street.

A spokeswoman said the call was made just after 8.30am after a gas main was ruptured in the area by workers.

The scene has been handed over to Phoenix Gas for repairs.

A spokeswoman for Phoenix said the gas leak was not caused by its staff. She said a temporary repair had been made to make the area safe and that the damage was caused by a third-party contractor.

"[The damage] was not in any way caused by or related to the operations or conduct of Phoenix Natural Gas," she said.

"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.

"Phoenix Natural Gas continues to highlight it's 'Dial Before You Dig' initiative to assist those involved in excavation works in the vicinity of underground gas mains. This is a helpline number - 028 90555819 - which provides key information relating to the gas network and advice on the necessary safeguards required in the prevention of damage and avoidance of accidents."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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