Gas firm apologises over leak evacuation

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THE gas company ultimately responsible for a major gas leak in Scarborough which saw dozens of residents evacuated from their homes and forced to spend the night in a hotel, yesterday apologised for the disruption.

Properties within a 100m (328ft) radius of the leak on Seamer Road, Scarborough, were evacuated at about 12.50pm on Tuesday after Northern Gas Networks reported the leak.

The company said a contractor working on planned improvements to the mains network locally had damaged a pipe during “routine work”.

The leak closed the road while urgent repairs were carried out, leaving many residents unable to return home until Thursday.

Yesterday Northern Gas Networks issued a statement apologising for the incident.

It added that the incident will not delay an £842,000 project to upgrade two aging metal mains on Seamer Road that supply thousands of homes and businesses in Scarborough.

The project should be completed by Easter next year.

A Northern Gas Networks spokesman said: “We would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused by the gas leak in Scarborough this week and to reassure our customers that we are working with our contractor to ensure that we learn from this.

“It was, however, an isolated incident. We have a strong track-record when it comes to safely managing gas mains upgrade projects, successfully completing more than 600 such schemes every year.”

He added: “We are very aware that the work on Seamer Road is likely to be disruptive to traffic and we know that no-one likes to be faced with roadworks, especially over a sustained period.

“But, once it is complete, the area will have a safe, modern and reliable gas supply in place that will signal the end of the disruptive emergency repairs that are due to the age of the pipes currently in place.”