Evacuees return home after gas leak crash drama

RESIDENTS and businesses were allowed back to their properties this afternoon following a gas leak.

Anthony Bond

RESIDENTS and businesses were allowed back to their properties this afternoon following a gas leak.

A total of 100 people were evacuated after a gas tanker crashed into the garden of a house in Langton Green in Eye, at 7.53am. This resulted in a gas leak to mains supply to the house.

The incident happened opposite the entrance to the Mid Suffolk Business Park and led to the evacuation of dozens of workers.

But police have confirmed that as of 2.52pm, the gas leak was stemmed and the 600 metre exclusion zone and cordon was lifted.

A section of the B1077 will remain closed at Brome Avenue and Chestnut Farm to allow for the recovery of the tanker, which is due to take place this evening.

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The 44-year-old male driver of the eight-tonne gas tanker was left with minor injuries.

Fire crews from Eye, Stradbroke and two crews from Norfolk were on scene and were supported by two operation support units and an extra support pump.

Speaking earlier today, Group Manager Karl Rolfe, of Suffolk Fire Service, said: “We have established a safety cordon and evacuated the people from that area. We have a firefighting response at both ends of the incident so that we can apply water curtains if there are any gas clouds.

“At the moment, there is gas leaking but not enough to form gas clouds. It is more dangerous if an un-ignited gas cloud forms than if it is on fire, that is why we have a large firefighting response here.”

The exclusion zone included six houses and some residents were invited to stay in Eye Police Station - although it is thought that all residents made other arrangements.

It is believed that one resident with an on-going medical condition was taken to the towns Hartismere Hospital.

Those affected by the drama spoke of how the incident unfolded.

Bill Richens, who lives on Langton Green, said: “I just saw all the emergency vehicles and thought it was a serious accident, but then I heard it was a tanker that had crashed. I spoke to a policeman who told me there were concerned about the gas exploding.”

Meanwhile, the closure of businesses in the area was also causing problems.

Haulier Ray Pogson, 55, had come down from Grimsby to pick up some frozen herbs from Rosemary and Thyme.

He said: “I've been here for about an hour. It is very frustrating because I cannot go anywhere and it's just going to cost my employer revenue. It could be a lost load.

“I am going to have to wait but I've been told it could be six to seven hours.”

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