Major gas leak in Essex

A TWO mile exclusion zone has been set up around an Essex industrial estate today after a major gas leak.Fire crews were called to Southfields Industrial Estate in Laindon about 1am today after reports a car was on fire.

A TWO mile exclusion zone has been set up around an Essex industrial estate today after a major gas leak.

Fire crews were called to Southfields Industrial Estate in Laindon about 1am today after reports a car was on fire.

On arrival, it was discovered the car was parked over a gas main next to a small gas distribution unit.

The car and a single storey building were well alight and a gas source had ignited.

At 8.30am fire crews evacuated the entire estate while gas engineers dealt with the supply.

Nigel Dilley, Assistant Divisional Officer with Essex Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The location of the gas leak makes it difficult to cap off.

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“Without sounding alarmist, the danger is that should the gas pressure drop too much, the fire could back feed and blow all the gas metres in the buildings on the estate with the potential of causing explosion.

“That is why we have taken the serious decision to declare a two mile exclusion zone.”