Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Trains cancelled after Portsmouth gas leak

Dozens of homes were evacuated and trains cancelled because of a gas leak in Portsmouth.

Rail services were cancelled between Fareham, Havant and Portsmouth Harbour, after a gas main close to the railway line was damaged.

Hampshire police were alerted at 16:20 GMT and 25 homes in Tangier Road were evacuated and the road was closed.

Officers said nine houses would need to remain evacuated overnight but other residents were allowed home.

The force said the leak had been brought under control by 20:25 GMT and traffic was allowed back into the area.

Diesel-only trains were also allowed to resume services.

A rest centre was opened at Moneyfield Sports and Social Club, in Moneyfield Avenue, for residents who were unable to make alternative arrangements.

'No fire risk'

Southern Gas Networks spokesman, Dennis Kirby, said: "The damage was caused at a building site to a 20-inch gas main. Work was going on clearing up for the weekend. It is a low pressure gas main.

"It is not a fire risk but if gas gets into properties that can cause a hazard. We have to make sure that everyone in the immediate vicinity is safe.

"It is quite safe. It is venting into the atmosphere.

"We will be working all night to get this done. We think it could take us all night and into the morning but we want to get it done as quickly as possible because we know it's a busy day in Portsmouth tomorrow."

The incident happened about a mile away from Fratton Park, home of Portsmouth Football Club, who are due to play Hull City on Saturday afternoon.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites