Some traffic has been diverted away from a busy inner city Whanganui street today after workmen struck a gas main.

I D Loader Ltd crews had been digging across St Hill St near its intersection with Guyton St, when the rupture occurred.

According to a Loaders spokesman an excavator "nipped" the gas pipe causing the leak.

"No one was in danger and the strong winds have helped blow the gas away. If it had been major we would have alerted all the businesses around the area."

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GasNet staff had to cap the gas line further along St Hill St while the pipe was repaired.

A Chronicle staff member started smelling gas about 12.30pm.

It made her feel quite light headed and sick.

She was surprised nearby offices and businesses were not advised of the problem.

"They didn't come in and tell us about it. We just smelt it."

The leak was repaired about an hour later.