PHOTOS: Businesses evacuated due to leaking gas cylinder in Whiddon Valley

13:38 11 February 2013

Fire crews were called to reports of a gas leak in Whiddon Valley Industrial Estate

Fire crews were called to reports of a gas leak in Whiddon Valley Industrial Estate

Archant

Industrial units evacuated after reports of a cylinder leaking LPG gas in Barnstaple industrial estate.

THREE fire engines attended reports of a gas leak at a property in Westacott Road on Whiddon Valley Industrial Estate this afternoon (Mon).

The fire crews from Barnstaple and Braunton were scrambled to the scene at around 11.35am where it was reported an LPG gas cylinder, used to power fork lift trucks, was leaking.

A spokesman for Carrier Marketing Ltd said the warehouse manager had been changing the cylinders on the fork lift trucks when he noticed the valve was faulty.

He said: “The valve was wedged open; he screwed it to try to get it to close but it wouldn’t.

“As it was a full cylinder we evacuated the building and did our role call, turned off the heating supply and called the fire brigade.

“It was nice to see the procedures we have in place, when needed worked very well.”

Jeff Harding, from Barnstaple station, said when the crews arrived the businesses in the affected unit had already evacuated.

“It was great to see everyone had left the building and had been accounted for by the time we arrived,” he said.

“We’ve taken a standoff-ish approach because we have an unknown quantity of LPG gas leaking from the cylinder.

“We have isolated the power to the building and we have two covering jets at the back of the building which is next to Actavis as a precaution.

“Obviously it is a concern having a gas cloud next to a factory like this so that’s why we have put the jets in place.

“Crew members are now entering the building to ventilate it.”

Mark Rostock, director of neighbourhoods for North Devon Homes, said they had evacuated the building and followed the correct procedures.

He said: “We just want to apologise to our customers and thank them for their patience.”

For more photos click the gallery in the top right of the page.

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