Gas leak problems spark review of procedures
Last updated at 19:46, Thursday, 26 July 2012
Allerdale council will review its call-out procedures after Maryport Town Hall was closed three times last week because of a gas leak.
Engineers attended the Senhouse Street building four days in a row and, at one stage, carried out tests which may have led to the evacuation of nearby residents and traders.
The building was evacuated last Tuesday after staff and customers smelled gas.
The council’s gas engineers, based 52 miles away in Kendal, arrived three hours after the evacuation. They tested for gas and reported no leaks.
On Wednesday there was again a smell of gas, and the building was evacuated.
Northern Gas Networks was called out and switched off the gas to allow staff back inside. It reported a problem with a valve and identified another small leak.
The council’s engineers were called out again and could not find a fault on the valve, but identified a second small leak that they repaired.
Northern Gas Networks carried out a wider investigation in case it was a bigger problem and the area had to be evacuated.
Tests found that there was no risk to the surrounding area and the gas was switched back on.
But that evening gas could be smelled and the supply was again switched off.
On Thursday the council’s gas engineers replaced a valve, then discovered that the new one was faulty. The gas remained switched off.
On Friday the council’s engineers fitted another replacement and the gas was switched back on.
A council spokeswoman said the Allerdale council health and safety team was monitoring the situation.
She added: “We are also reviewing our procedures regarding incidents such as these to identify where improvements can be made.”
She said the council’s gas engineers were appointed following standard contract tendering and appointment procedures which, under European legislation, do not give preference to local firms.
First published at 19:25, Thursday, 26 July 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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