Wakefield gas leak: Major incident declared as 60 residents evacuated from Trinity House flats in Kirkgate
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Firefighters from Wakefield, Normanton and Dewsbury were called out the scene, as well as paramedics. By the early afternoon the situation was escalated to a major incident and people were evacuated from their homes. The evacuation was undertaken by all emergency services as well as Wakefield District Housing and Wakefield Council.
Residents went to the nearby Wakefield Spiritualist Church on Peterson Road and streets around the flats were closed as firefighters worked with Northern Gas Networks to isolate the supply.
A Northern Gas Networks spokesperson said on Sunday: “Our engineers are currently on site dealing with a gas escape in Kirkgate, Wakefield. The area has been made safe and preparations are now under way to start repair work later this afternoon.
“Police have closed the road temporarily as a precautionary measure while engineers carry out the work. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may be causing customers and thank everyone for their patience while we work to complete the repair as a safely and quickly as we can.”
Tim Jones, group manager at WYFRS, was at the incident and said crews needed to work quickly to ensure residents were kept safe from the fast-flowing gas leak.
He said: “During the evacuation process we were focused on making sure all residents, especially those most vulnerable, were moved safely and quickly from the flats.
“We worked with other emergency services, the flat owners and the local authority to make sure the area was cordoned off and everyone was kept safe and well away from any potential harm. We left the incident at around 6.30pm once we had made sure the gas leak had been capped off and there was no danger to residents.
“We have now handed the situation over to the owners of the flats, as well as Northern Gas Networks. We believe they will be busing everyone back from the church to their flats.”
Kirkgate and George Street have now fully reopened.