Police in West Sussex have evacuated hundreds of people from a block of flats due to a gas leak and a “major incident” has been declared.
It was reported at 12:21am in Milton Mount Avenue, Crawley and residents were placed into tempoary accomodation or stayed with friends and family.
A broken pipe had been identified as the cause of the leak and repairs have now been made and engineers will remain at the flats to conduct safety checks throughout the day.
Dan Brown, from gas company SGN said, “When it’s been fully ventilated we’ll be able to allow the residents to return to their properties.
“We’re hoping that’s something we’ll be able to do later today.”
Sussex Police detective chief superintendent Steve Rayland said, “This is an ongoing incident which has caused huge disruption to hundreds of people on a cold January morning, and I’d like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding as we continue to work with our partners to minimise the ongoing disruption.
“We are working hard to ensure this is dealt with as soon as possible to enable everyone to return home, however this may take several hours yet.
“In the meantime, we are urging everyone to stay away from the area to allow the responding agencies to focus on resolving the incident to allow residents to return home.
“The exact cause of the gas leak is yet to be determined but not believed to be criminal, and we will provide more information as soon as we are able to.”