Homes and businesses evacuated after gas leak in Newtownards, Co Down

Ambulance services at the scene of a gas leak in Newtownards. Picture by Mal McCann

HOMES and businesses were evacuated "as a safety precaution" following a gas leak in Co Down which also led to a road being closed.

Emergency services were called to Miller House apartments on Regent Street in Newtownards shortly after 8.30am yesterday.

The road was cordoned off to traffic for more than an hour during the alert.

Phoenix Natural Gas said a main had been damaged by a third party contractor during ongoing road works.

Paramedics checked over some people who had been close to the source of the leak.

A Phoenix spokeswoman said it "responded to an incident on Tuesday 29 August 2017 at Mill Street, Newtownards, after being notified of damage to the Phoenix Natural Gas pipeline in the area.

"The damage incurred to the pipeline was due to the actions of a third party contractor and was not in any way caused by or related to the operations or conduct of Phoenix Natural Gas.

"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."

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