Gas leak ruins New Year’s Eve celebration
A RESTAURANT owner has said his business lost about �10,000 after a gas leak ruined his New Year’s Eve party.
Head chef and owner of The Fat Goose in Heath Road, near Tendring Green, Philip Hambrook-Moore, has spoken of his disappointment after the restaurant had to be evacuated just as the first guests started to arrive.
“The first I knew something had happened was about 6pm when one of the lads called and said that the gas had stopped working,” said Mr Hambrook-Moore.
“As I pulled into the car park I could smell gas and knew something was wrong. One of the chefs was investigating and as soon as we realised it was coming from our tank we called the fire brigade.”
A 1,000 metre exclusion zone was set up around the restaurant by the emergency services and the building, as well as a number of nearby homes, were evacuated until the leak on the 2,000 litre tank had been repaired.
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“The evening wasn’t due to start until 7.30pm, but two customers who were travelling from Bury St Edmunds had already arrived and the staff and the band were busy setting up,” said Mr Hambrook-Moore.
“By about 8.30pm we were still were not back inside the restaurant so we had to make the decision that the evening wasn’t going to go ahead and we called the customer to tell them what had happened.”
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The police and fire brigade are investigating the incident and Mr Hambrook-Moore believes it is the work of thieves who thought it might be oil inside the tank.
“An engineer said that there’s no way the bolt has come loose on its own, so I think somebody has tampered with it,” he said.
“It’s been bad for me financially and it’s ruined a lot of people’s New Year’s Eve, but this could have been a much bigger disaster if the gas had gone up.
“About �1,000 worth of gas escaped into the atmosphere and we lost about �9,000 of revenue from the cancelled evening. It’s really disappointing because times are tough enough at the moment and New Year’s Eve is one of the few nights in the year when you can guarantee a full house.
“All the customers have been really understanding and the firefighters and police officers were excellent.”