Safely home

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NORMALITY has returned to Seamer Road after an overnight evacuation of residents due to a gas leak.

Dozens of families woke up in temporary accommodation yesterday after being forced from their homes on Tuesday.

The chaos erupted after a contractor carrying out gas works in Seamer Road damaged a gas pipe.

Seamer Road was closed for 18 hours while emergency repairs were carried out.

A total of 24 properties were evacuated, with alternative accommodation provided by Northern Gas Networks at the Premier Inn.

Yesterday at 7am the all-clear was given and residents were allowed to return home as Seamer Road reopened to traffic.

Stephen and Annie Marsay, along with son Joshua, were all at home when they were forced to evacuate their home.

They spent the night in the Premier Inn and spoke to the Evening News over breakfast. Mrs Marsay said: “I left the house in the afternoon and the smell of gas hit you in the face. Then later on they said we had to be evacuated.

“They let us in to get some emergency bits and pieces and then we came here.

“It was annoying and I was worried that so much gas was outside, but they were helpful.”

Jimmy and Linda Rice were also forced out of their home overnight and were put up in the Premier Inn.

They were allowed home to collect emergency items, but only after an engineer had inspected their home with specialist equipment.

Mr Rice said: “The people at the gas company were really nice. They have paid for an evening meal, bed and breakfast and all of our tea, coffee and soft drinks.

“They’ve been fantastic really. The smell of the gas was horrendous, but the leak was just one of those things. The way we’ve been dealt with has been very good.”

Speaking from their house in Seamer Road after returning from the Premier Inn, pensioners Judith and Brian Woodthorpe were glad to be home.

Mr Woodthorpe said: “They have done all they could. Everyone we came into contact with really looked after us, and they have been very apologetic.”

Also back home was Lesley Roberts, who spent the night at Premier Inn with her husband and 19-year-old son.

She said: “There is not a lot we or anyone could do, we just had to get on with it. They did well to find somewhere for everyone to stay.”

Businesses along Seamer Road were glad to return to normal after the road closure hit trade.

Northern Gas Networks said yesterday that neither residents nor businesses will be entitled to compensation due to the legislation that apples to gas distribution networks.

Anyone wishing to speak to the gas board is invited to contact them on 0191 5116940.