Police evacuate 800 homes after crash causes gas main leak

Residents at first took photos of the crash scene, before being evacuated from their homes

A one-mile stretch of the A23 Purley Way was closed this morning, buses are diverted and the tram network closed between Therapia Lane and Wandle Park because of a leak from a damaged gas mains, seeing emergency services place an exclusion zone of more than a quarter of a mile from a damaged gas main, following a car skidding off the icy road and crashing into an energy plant on Whitestone Way, in the New South Quarter, last night.

Police evacuated 800 properties nearby, with around 300 residents having to take refuge on the freezing night first at the nearby Sainsbury’s supermarket, and overnight at the Salvation Army Citadel and Waddon Leisure Centre. There have been no reports of any injuries as a result of the collision.

While emergency works are carried out to fix the serious gas leak, electricity supplies in the vicinity have been limited and engineers have reduced the gas supply locally, affecting residents in other areas of the borough – particularly in New Addington.

The collision happened at around 8pm.

Several residents posted on social media, some claiming a strong smell of gas.

Some posted videos of the situation on social media:

This morning, the council chief executive, Jo Negrini, circulated an update which stated, “A 500m exclusion zone is in place and police are now ensuring all properties within an immediate 250m cordon are empty and any residents who previously refused to leave are now being forced to.”

There is an information page on the council website carrying updates on the situation here: http://news.croydon.gov.uk/statement-on-whitestone-way-incident.

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1 Response to Police evacuate 800 homes after crash causes gas main leak

  1. derekthrower says:

    Shows you the vulnerablity of important infastructure.

    Further the widespread effects when such incidents occur in areas of high density and important transport links.

    Don’t think policy makers ever consider such downsides in their plans for ever more huge concentrations of population density.

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