About a dozen Onekawa Industrial area businesses were evacuated this morning after reports of a gas leak in the area.

Fire and Emergency in Napier were called just before 10.15am and three appliances went to the scene which centred around Niven St, Edmundsen St, Wakefield St and Thorn Place.

Cordons were set up and traffic diverted while staff and occupants of buildings in the immediate area were evacuated, including a large number from the Quality Bakers in Niven St.

Using gas detectors crews moved through the area but at the end of a detailed search of buildings and sites came up with nothing.

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Senior Firefighter Mark Magill gave the all clear about 10.45am.

By that time the smell of what was described as LPG had dissipated.

One crew had come across a small rubbish fire at one yard which was put out.

Magill said the damp conditions meant the gas would stay low in the air and not rise so quickly.

It would also have been driven away to the west by easterly winds at the time.

"Not the best of days to have a break outside," one man said as he and his colleagues waited it out in the rain.

"With gas we have to take all precautions," Magill said.

"It is not something you take risks with."

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He said several business in the area used LPG as well as other gas agents but the building to building searches came up with nothing.

Some of the locals said they thought they had smelled gas even earlier in the morning.