Gas leak took a week to fix

GAS workers spent a week pumping out water from a flooded field before they could deal with a gas leak, it has emerged.

Laurence Cawley

GAS workers spent a week pumping out water from a flooded field before they could deal with a gas leak, it has emerged.

Motorists driving around the St Saviour's roundabout in Bury St Edmunds had reported being left baffled after smelling a mystery whiff unlike the usual aromas in the area which emanate from the Silver Spoon sugar factory.

Workers too reported a smell in the area, but could not identify its source.


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But the mystery smell has now been identified and workers from the National Grid have been out in force dealing with the leaking pipe.

A spokeswoman for National Grid told how the leak first came to light on New Year's Eve and said it was traced to a pipe running beneath a field in the area.

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However, repair workers encountered an unexpected difficulty when they tried to reach the pipe because it was in the middle of a flooded field. As a result, the water in the field had to be pumped out before repairs could go ahead.

“We have been treating it as a controlled escape of gas. We have drained the field and have now gained access to the pipe which is why more people have smelt the gas.

“Nobody has been in any danger - we knew exactly what we were doing. We have been looking after it since it was first reported and there has been no affect on gas supply.”

One of the drivers who noticed the stench said: “It was really overpowering. It came into my car. The nearest thing I could compare it to is the smell of a gas leak - but I could not tell where it was coming from.”

Another driver, who said he smelled the gas about five days ago, said: “Whilst driving along the A14 above St Saviour's there was a smell which was not the usual smell from the area which sent my senses tingling.”

Some staff at the British Sugar factory also said they had noticed the smell but could not identify where it was coming from.

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