Businesses on Thames Street evacuated following a 'significant' gas leak that left workers 150 metres away hearing 'a loud hissing' noise.

Fire and police attended the incident at about 1.20pm.

At the time cordons had been put in place on Mersey St and Severn St.

Fire crews douse down areas near a gas leak in Pandora today. Photo Warren Buckland
Fire crews douse down areas near a gas leak in Pandora today. Photo Warren Buckland

Napier Fire Service senior station officer Mark McGill said they had isolated the line and then the gas company had fixed the problem.

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They evacuated people about 150m either side of where the leak was located outside Galvanising Hawke's Bay Limited.

"It went quite smoothly, we evacuated and we put a water curtain on it to suppress the gas."

Although one worker at nearby Tumu ITM Napier said the situation had been "quite scary", given the loud hissing noise that could be heard, Tumu ITM Napier business partner Paul Waite said all 25 staff were evacuated quickly and had returned to work within half an hour.

"I think we were disrupted for about half an hour, it looked like the emergency services were doing a great job. There was definitely the smell of gas."

Staff were advised to evacuate, after being informed of the leak by staff from neighbouring business Galvanising HB.

"The local business community seemed to rally together and fire and police were here pretty quickly."

A constant stream of customers had to be turned away but there was no real affect on business.

Galvanising HB general manager Richard Millea said the leak had come from a mains gas line, after a flange blew.

"Because it's a large mains that supplies our site the gas leak was quite significant. It was a high-pressure leak, so we immediately evacuated the site and contacted the fire brigade and the gas company.

'It was a major leak. It was a big main that blew, it's actually their service main."

Millea said about 15 people had been evacuated without issue and fire trucks were on the seen promptly.

Gas contractors shut down the gas about 30 minutes later.

Millea also said the gas company had also been able to restore gas supply just in time to get the company back to business.

"We have a zinc pot here that we use for galvanising, it's molten zinc and the zinc would have rapidly hardened without the gas burners, which would mean we would lose production for days without it."