EMERGENCY services are expected to be at the scene in Wisbech’s Weasenham Lane for several hours yet as they try to repair burst water and gas mains.
Both ends of the road have been closed since lunch time today (Friday) after two separate incidents within a short time of each other and also within yards of each other.
The incidents were triggered at about noon when a vehicle ran over a piece of equipment known as a gas governor (medium pressure) in Regal Road, leaving pipes exposed with gas leaking.
Emergency services and National Grid engineers were alerted. Nearby businesses were evacuated and a 20 metre cordon was put in place.
Sara Wilcox, a spokesperson for National Grid, explained this had just been repaired when firefighters told then about a burst water main in nearby Weasenham Lane which caused a leak in a medium pressure gas main.
Wisbech fire station watch commander John Chelton said the cause of the second bursts wasn’t yet known but it could have been triggered by the first incident in Regal Road.
Mr Chelton said businesses close by and properties were evacuated and other busy factories and the nearby Thomas Clarkson Community College were informed of the situation.
Diversions were put in place and Thomas Clarkson pupils were able to get home safely.
Mr Chelton said businesses nearby were asked not to use cutting equipment that could create anything which might cause an explosion due to the leaking gas.
Mr Chelton said there was a very strong smell of gas but no flames and people were told to keep their windows closed. He said the wind should help to disperse the gas but firefighters would remain at the scene on standby while National Grid and water board engineers tried to repair the Weasenham Lane leaks.
“We will remain on site in case of ignitions. The Water board and gas boards are dealing with both repairs. It is going to be some time before they are repaired,” said Mr Chelton.