Families who spent the night at a sports centre 3 miles away after being evacuated from their homes in Fordham following a “significant gas escape” are back home. “We were able to stop the large gas escape and repair the gas pipe last night,” said a spokesperson for Cadent.
“This is great news for all the families who had to be evacuate from their homes. We are completing our safety checks and the cordon will soon be removed.
“We will have engineers on site this morning just in case there are any problems when you return home, but this should not be the case.”
The spokesperson added: “We would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding whilst Cadent, the Cambridge Fire & Rescue service, police and local authority all worked together to bring this incident to an end. Thank you.
“Just a small reminder if you do smell gas in your home, please call the gas emergency number immediately on 0800 111 999 and an engineer will be sent out to investigate for you.”
One resident posted to a village Facebook group: “Thank you to the local volunteers, the RBL in Fordham, the British Red Cross volunteers, Ross Peers leisure centre and our emergency services for managing everything in the last 18 or so hours. And to our fellow ‘evacuees’ for the community spirit, it exists.”
Cadent, the UK’s largest gas distribution network, helped move the families from inside a 100-metre cordon in Fordham following damage to a large gas pipe. Fire crews from Ely and Newmarket assisted Cadent in monitoring events in the village and have been on hand to advise and co-ordinate the evacuation.
Cadent announced late tonight that those who have been evacuated are being looked after at the Ross Peers sports centre in Soham. The company says they were called to a report of a gas escape at 2.30pm today and were on site shortly afterwards.
“We have been working with the emergency services to manage the gas escape and to ensure the local community is safe,” said a spokesperson. “A cordon of 100 metres has been put in place and a number of properties evacuated as a safety precaution with the help of the local authority.”
In a later statement the spokesperson said: “We just need to clarify – if you are in the 100-metre cordon and have been evacuated, you will not be able to return to your home this evening and we hope to get you back in your homes tomorrow morning.
“We believe we have the contact details of all residents in the 100-metre cordon. If you do not think this is the case, please let someone know at the Ross Peers Centre in Soham.
“If you were in the 200-metre cordon, you will have been contacted to let you know you are able to return this evening.
“We will be working on the gas escape throughout the night. Next update will be in the morning.”
The spokesperson added: “Our engineers arrived on site to assess the situation following damage to a large diameter gas pipe and are working with the other emergency services to ensure the safety of the local community.
Cadent said: “Although the gas escape is in a field, we have had to evacuate a number of properties as a safety precaution. We are working to reduce the amount of gas escaping and complete a repair as quickly and safely as possible to ensure residents can return to their homes as soon as possible this evening”
“We appreciate that this type of gas escape is noisy and can sound dramatic. I would like to assure residents that all is under control, and we hope to have the repair completed this evening, with no effect on gas supplies.”
“Those in the cordon area have been advised to evacuate as a safety precaution.
“Our engineers are carrying out a very complex operation on a large and higher-pressure gas pipe than normal, so the repair will take some time to complete. We are working as quickly and safely as possible.”
For some the situation appeared confused tonight, with one family saying they had booked into a Travelodge before realising an evacuation centre was being opened in Soham.
Can you help us?
While you’re here, we are asking, for the first time, for readers to support us financially by taking out a modest subscription.
£2, or £3 or even £5 will help us achieve our goals. It will mean the second year of CambsNews will be livelier, healthier, and much better placed to cover the important issues affecting our everyday lives.
Your subscription simply means we can provide and expand our news FREE to all readers (Read More)Will you help us? Simply click the link below to make a donation.