Gas leak closes roads in Sydney’s CBD

November 29, 2013 – 10:16AM

Amanda Hoh

Video Journalist

Shops and businesses have been evacuated as a result of a gas leak on the corner of George and Liverpool Street in Sydney’s CBD.

A number of surrounding roads have been closed.

A gas main was ruptured by construction workers just before 8.30am on Friday.

At 9.15am, Liverpool Street was closed westbound between Kent and George Street, with traffic heavy through the area.

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According to the Transport Management Centre, buses that would usually terminate at Circular Quay are diverting off George Street. There are flow-on delays for buses of about 30 minutes, the Transport Management Centre says.

“The leak is a relatively small one given the size of the main,” a NSW Fire and Rescue spokesman said.

Buildings surrounding the construction site were found to have a gas reading of zero but were evacuated as a precaution, a NSW Fire and Rescue spokesman said.

“It’s a very low level but we can’t take any chances. The contractors will dig up the footpath to stop the leak.”

People have been evacuated from the construction area.

While the spokesman said the gas main is 75 millimetres in size and the leak “will dissipate quickly”, there are still fears an explosion could occur.

“With a gas leak there is always that fear – that’s why they evacuate and that’s why the firies will stay around there to make sure there are no ignition sources,” he said.

“If there’s something that ignites it, you can have some sort of explosion.”

It’s expected to take constructions workers up to two hours to dig into the footpath to reach the gas main for repairs.

The spokesman said the construction site may be a renovation of an existing building but he was unsure which company the contractors are from or how the main was damaged.

It is unknown when access to the evacuated buildings and closed streets will be granted.

with Jacob Saulwick and Charmaine Wong

 

The Sydney Morning Herald

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