Cordons have been lifted after a gas leak caused by a car crash in Napier this morning.
Emergency services blocked off the area between Munroe St, Sale St, Edwardes St and Marine Parade after a car hit a gas pipe at Briscoes, Hastings St, at about 11.20am.
As a result Briscoes and some nearby hotels along Hastings St were evacuated as a precaution and members of the public were asked to avoid the area.
Napier Fire Brigade senior station officer Jamie Nichol said two Napier appliances were sent to the accident which caused a leak at a gas metre to a house.
When fire crews arrived the driver, and sole occupant of the vehicle, was being treated by passersby before an ambulance arrived, he said.
"It was possibly caused by a medical event."
A St John spokesperson said a patient was taken by ambulance to Hawke's Bay Hospital in a serious condition.
Cordons were put in place at about 11.30am and nearby businesses and houses were evacuated until cordons were lifted at about 1pm.
The main was sprayed with water to disperse the gas before a gas company arrived and isolated the leak and fixed it, Mr Nichol said.
A nearby resident, who did not want to be named, said he heard a loud bang and was then evacuated from his house.
"We could smell the gas from our house."
A police spokesperson said the gas leak was capped just before 1pm and cordons were lifted.
"Police would like to thank those in the area for their patience and cooperation as we dealt with the incident."