Residents evacuated after major gas leak

The area around Claremont Terrace in Blyth which is cordoned off due to a gas leak.
The area around Claremont Terrace in Blyth which is cordoned off due to a gas leak.

HOUSEHOLDERS had to be evacuated from their homes after a major gas leak in Blyth on Tuesday morning.

Police became aware of the leak on attending an address in Claremont Terrace at 8.13am following a report of a possible burglary.

Neighbouring properties were evacuated temporarily and the road was cordoned off while gas and electric engineers worked to fix the problem.

Residents living near to the property were also told to stay indoors.

Josh Barry, 18, said he was told by officers to stay indoors as there could be an explosion in the street.

He said: “I had just woken up and I looked out the window and saw firemen and police everywhere. All the electricity was off.

“I was told to stay inside because there could be an explosion.

“It’s not the sort of thing you expect to wake up to on a Tuesday morning.”

Susanne Miller, who also lives on the street, was working when her electricity went off.

The 48-year-old said: “I was working on the computer upstairs and everything suddenly went off.

“I looked out the window and saw lots of flashing lights, police, firemen and tape. Everyone was told to stay indoors.”

The nearby St Wilfrid’s RC Middle School was also closed for the day and the Blyth Valley Arts and Leisure Centre was shut for around two hours.

Adam Dixon, assistant manager at the centre, said: “At about 9.30am we were asked to evacuate as it was a potential blast area.

“We had quite a lot of people to get out of the building because we had Slimming World on and the pool, cafe and gym were open.”

The premises were made safe just after midday and residents returned to their homes and the road was reopened.

At the time of the incident Chief Superintendent Dianne Winship, of Northumberland area command, said: “We understand that this incident may cause concern for local people and I would like to thank them for their co-operation and patience.

“We are working closely with all the agencies involved to ensure the safety of the public and resolve the situation as quickly as possible and we have extra neighbourhood officers in the area to provide reassurance.”

An investigation into the alleged burglary is ongoing.