Gas alert after van backs into meter

By Roger Moroney

Firefighters closed a 300m stretch of Milton Rd from Battery Rd in Napier yesterday after a resident backed into a gas meter unit, severing the pipe.

"I've backed out of there hundreds of times," Alan Smith said of the Milton Rd property he's lived at for the past year. "I just nudged the box and then heard the hissing - I knew what I'd done straight away."

The older model meter box sits just inside his gate and he said one of the first things he would be doing now is putting something up close to it as protection.

He said it was a combination of where it was sited, the tight turn out his drive and the high wing mirror on his van.

It happened about 2pm and he went straight inside to call his gas supplier.

The firm called the fire service to act as a back-up while a gas engineer dug through to the supply pipe and clamped it off.

A couple living about 250m away, and in the wind flow direction, said they smelled gas and a short time later heard the fire sirens.

"I was going to go for a walk down there but that's off for now," one woman said.

Firefighters blocked the road and a crew sprayed a fine mist of water in the direction of the leaking meter box while the engineer got to the 25mm pipe about a metre away on the footpath.

Mr Smith stayed put at the foot of the road behind the barriers until the pipe, hissing loudly, was closed off about 20 minutes later.

"I didn't expect to see all these fire guys turn up," he said.

Engineers said the repairs to the meter box would be wrapped up by the end of the day, and Mr Smith would have his hot water back on.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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