Police cordon off busy Leeds shopping street after 'explosion'

Emergency services are at the scene after a manhole cover in Commercial Street "popped off".

Friday, 22nd February 2019, 1:45 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd February 2019, 3:52 pm
Commercial Street cordoned off after the manhole cover exploded. Photo: Charlottle Lacy.

The manhole cover is located in front of Goldsmiths Jewellers.

Witnesses described hearing a "loud boom".

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service were called to the scene just before 2pm. West Yorkshire Police also attended.

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The manhole cover in Commercial Street. Photo: Mark Russell.

The incident drew a large crowd to one of the busiest shopping streets in the city.

A fire service spokeswoman said: “At 13.54 our crews were called to Commercial Street where they found a manhole cover had popped off.

"Investigations are ongoing into the cause with both gas and electricity boards assisting our crews.

"Police have a small section of the pedestrian street cordoned off for public safety.”

Scott Kitchingman, Site Manager for Northern Gas Networks said: “Engineers from the North of England’s gas distributer, Northern Gas Networks (NGN), were called to Commercial Street, Leeds on the afternoon of Friday 22 February following reports that a manhole cover in the street had lifted.

“The safety of members of the public and colleague is our priority and NGN engineers are currently on site and working with the emergency services to carry out investigations. The cause is not believed to be gas related.

“If you smell gas or suspect carbon monoxide, call the national gas emergency service on 0800 111 999 immediately.”