Houses in Bethlehem, Tauranga have been evacuated after a gas leak, with one 40-week pregnant woman left stuck in her car for more than an hour.

Fire service northern communications shift manager Colin Underdown said a 50mm gas main had been ruptured by workmen on Orange Lane.

The fire service was at the scene and houses were being evacuated while firefighters worked to isolated the gas supply.

Police are also assisting in evacuating the area.


Orange Drive is blocked off at Huntington Drive.

There are three fire trucks and a Hazmat truck on the street.

Residents of Orange Lane were evacuated and others left waiting outside safety cordons.

Forty-week pregnant Justine Eden was stuck in her car at the corner of St Andrews and Orange Lane for over an hour.

Mrs Eden was expecting to go into labour at any moment and wasn't thrilled about not being able to go home.

"I want to go home and have an afternoon sleep because you never know when you're going to go into labour,'' she said.

Dave Burnett said there had been another gas leak yesterday but it hadn't generated such a large response.

He said workers putting in ultra-fast broadband cables had broken the gas main.

"They closed off the road, just put a couple of cones, and took them away about half an hour later.

"It was a really strong smell, it went right through the whole house.''

Mr Burnett said he was surprised emergency services weren't called to the gas leak yesterday.

Firefighters with breathing apparatus could be seen spraying water from their hoses today.