'About 200' evacuated over gas leak in Victoria Road, Romford
PUBLISHED: 11:39 16 September 2014 | UPDATED: 16:44 16 September 2014
Firefighters have evacuated about 200 people from homes and businesses while engineers deal with a gas leak in Romford town centre.
The London Fire Brigade (LFB) said four engines had been sent to the incident on Victoria Road, and properties between junctions with South Street and King Edward Road had been emptied.
LFB said it was a “precautionary measure”, with station manager Mark Simons, at the scene, adding: “There has been no fire or explosions but as a precaution we’ve evacuated around 200 people from neighbouring properties.
“Thankfully the latest readings have shown a reduction in the gas levels and we’re working with the gas companies to bring the situation under control.”
Later LFB tweeted: “Gas levels are down on Victoria Rd #Romford so we’ve reduced the hazard zone. Gas board are still working on the leak.”
Firefighters were called at about 10.30am.
Eyewitnesses reported smelling gas on the air, seeing the street cordoned off and offices closed.
Eric Walker (@JustEricWalker) posted on Twitter: “Gas leak in Romford High St - street cordoned off and office temporarily closed @northwooduk”
And Kaylee Sayers (@kaylee2244) tweeted: “It’s all going down in romford town!!!”
One Victoria Road resident, a 46-year-old city worker who asked not to be named, said: “I walked down the road on Sunday and could smell the gas then.
“There’s now three fire cars, then there’s four brigade command unit vehicles and three fire engines.
“Then there’s vehicles from the gas company - four National Grid vehicles.”
National Grid has been contacted for further information.
Shane Mathews, who works in the Havering Christian Bookshop on Victoria Road, said, at 12.40pm: “It’s died down a bit now that everyone has been evacuated.
“But they do not have any indication as to when it will be resolved.
“It’s rather ironic for us businesses who have had to suffer lose of trade due to road closure recently during the renovation, but these things happen.”
Victoria Road is closed at the South Street junction. Bus routes 370 and 496 are being diverted.
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