Houses and businesses evacuated following gas leak in Widnes Date published: 9th September 2018 6.26pm

Officers evacuated a range of houses and businesses following a major gas leak in Widnes town centre.

At around 10.10am on Sunday 9 September police were called to reports of a gas leak by Widnes Police Station on Gerrard Street.

The gas and electricity supplies to the police station were isolated and officers set up a 200-metre cordon, closed roads and a bus lane and evacuated nearby homes and businesses as a precaution as utility companies worked at the scene to make the area safe.

Police also liaised with the local authority, who set up a rest centre at Kingsway Leisure Centre for those who had been evacuated from their homes.

The incident was resolved at around 5pm.

Once officers were satisfied that the area was safe they lifted the cordon, reopened the roads and bus lane and gave people the all clear to return to their homes and businesses.

The Highways Agency also worked to reopen roads.

Inspector Richard Reeves said: “Once it was established that there had been a gas leak officers worked swiftly to set up a cordon, close roads and evacuate homes, shops and other businesses in the immediate area as a precautionary measure to make sure that people were safe.

“They worked equally swiftly to lift the cordon, reopen roads and let people return to their homes and businesses once utility companies confirmed to us that the problem had been resolved, but I understand that the cordon and closures inconvenienced a lot of people and I would like to thank them all for their patience.”

The leak is believed to have been caused by an electrical fault burning a hole in an underground gas pipe.