A suspected gas leak closed a busy part of central Whangārei yesterday morning as emergency services raced to secure the scene.
The call out to the Bank St and Vine St intersection proved to be a false alarm as Whangārei firefighters and a First Gas worker identified the sewer as the culprit for the gassy stench.
Whangārei senior station officer Paul Ballantine said the sewer had caused multiple suspected gas leak call outs at the intersection and FENZ had notified the Whangārei District Council at each incident as per protocol.
"We've been to the hairdressers and the cafe and it's often associated with the sewer."
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A WDC wastewater engineer was investigating the cause of yesterday's incident involving the sewer and no conclusive answers were available at edition time.
Emergency services were called to the intersection of Bank St and Vine St at 11.10am after a customer at the Co-operative Bank complained to staff about the smell of gas outside the building.
The Co-operative Bank employee immediately phoned emergency services to report the stench.
A cordon was put in place around the scene and traffic directed away from the roads while the firefighters and Gas First worker checked the sidewalk manholes and other areas with gas detection equipment to determine if any substances were present that would indicate a suspected leak.
In less than an hour the sewer was identified as the source of the gas smell, which was not uncommon, and Vine St was reopened just before 12pm.
Ballantine was pleased the public were proactive at reporting suspected gas leaks.
"We definitely encourage this type of behaviour - it's commendable," Ballantine said.