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Cordon put up at Gallions Reach shopping park after gas mains fracture

PUBLISHED: 11:00 23 October 2018 | UPDATED: 11:56 24 October 2018

Royal Docks Road where gas mains fractured 12ft under junction with Armarda Way by Gallions Reach centre. Picture source: Google

Royal Docks Road where gas mains fractured 12ft under junction with Armarda Way by Gallions Reach centre. Picture source: Google

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A fractured gas mains caused traffic congestion when an area next to Gallions Reach shopping centre in Beckton had to be sealed off.

Passers-by alerted police during last night’s rush-hour when they smelt gas in the air along Armada Way, close to the A1020 Royal Docks Road leading to the North Circular.

Emergency services threw up a 300ft safety zone and closed Royal Docks Road and one of the entrances to the shopping park close to the Tesco superstore as a precaution, although the centre was able to stay open.

A specialist unit was brought in from East Ham fire station with detection equipment testing for escaping gas before the ‘all clear’ was given. Crew from Plaistow, Dagenham and Ilford fire-stations were on standby through the night.

“There was a strong smell of gas when we got there,” Plaistow fire crew manager Ian Robinson told the Newham Recorder.

“The 100m radius exclusion zone was a safety measure as there’s always a risk of ignition from cigarettes or passing cars. The area cordoned off lead to the North Circular which affected traffic.”

The operation involved the Fire Brigade, Met Police, TfL and Cadent Gas which operates the mains network in the area.

The mains gas pressure was reduced while engineers worked through the night repairing the fracture. The cordon was lifted early this-morning.

The Cadent engineers are still working on the leaking main. The company said: “Royal Docks Road was closed last night after our engineers uncovered a leak on a large 48ins medium pressure pipe. This is a complex repair on a gas main about 12ft deep and is likely to take several days.”

Traffic diversions were set up, but no evacuations were needed. Royal Docks Road remains closed northbound while repairs continue.

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