Express & Star

Residents' relief as they are allowed home after Oldbury gas leak

Residents in Oldbury spoke of their relief after they were able to return to their homes following a major gas leak.

Last updated
Residents were able to return to their homes on Dudley Road after being evacuated due to a gas leak. Photo: Google Street Map

Around 350 people were evacuated from up to 200 homes after firefighters responded to the gas leak on Dudley Road, after a pipe ruptured on nearby allotments just after 7.30pm on Thursday.

The incident was declared closed by the fire service at around 1.50am on Friday, with Gas company Cadent remaining at the scene to work on the main and ensure the area was safe.

There was still a strong smell of gas in the air on Dudley Road on Friday the morning after the incident, with the road closed at both ends as engineers from Cadent continued their work.

For residents living on the road, the night before had been a difficult one with having to leave their homes and find other places to spend the night.

One resident said she hadn't realised what was going on until the fire service knocked on her door.

She said: "I was sitting in my front room at around 9.30pm when they knocked on my door and told me what was happening and that I had to evacuate my home.

"I stayed at my sister's house until 2am when they told us we could come home and I was relieved that they'd fixed the problem so quickly.

"It was really shocking to find out about the leak as it's never happened around here and I hope it's not a huge thing in the future."

Another resident, who didn't want to be named, said he was alerted by his daughter after she had seen police cars and fire engines.

He said: "She came knocking on the door from two doors down and said something was happening on the street, then we have police officers come running down to tell us we had to evacuate because of a leak.

"I was really shocked as it's not something you expect to see around here, although my wife was saying that she could smell gas for a number of days. But we stayed with my other daughter and were able to get back here safely."

Another man, who didn't want to be named, said he had been coming back from his son's prom when he saw signs saying the road was closed.

He said: "I got back here around 10pm and found the road closed, so spoke to the police and heard it was a gas leak down by the allotments, so we went to stay at my friend's place in Bromsgrove for the night.

"It was a surprise to hear about it, but I know they did a lot of work to fix the problem and I'm just glad there wasn't any damage caused."

The Shri Venkateswara (Balaji) Temple on Dudley Road East opened its doors to welcome people needing a place to stay during the evacuation.

Temple manager Dakshinamoorthy Kannappan said the temple had welcomed around 100 residents and provided places to sit and refreshments as part of its community service.

He said: "We put out some chairs for people to sit on and then brought in tea and coffee and biscuits, before bringing in some bread for people until 2am when they were told they could go home.

"We also helped to transport people who could walk or were having trouble on wheelchairs, and kept people updated on the situation.

"It was important for us to help as we are part of the community and we are a charity and want to help people, so our community centre is there for the public and we were happy to help people forced to leave their homes."