Engeneers were called in immediately to repair the gas leak.

The day-to-day peace at the Balearic Ministry for Tourism building in Calle Montenegro, in the heart of the capital, was interrupted yesterday morning when police ordered that the building be evacuated because of a gas leak. The gas leak was reported at 12.25 and, according to the 112 emergency centre and the gas and electricity company GESA, the leak was caused by a team of builders working in the narrow street which leads down to the popular restaurant area of La Lonja, when one of the gas pipes was hit by excavating machinery. Apparently gas started gushing out of the broken pipe and the alarm was immediately raised. In order to ensure that all of the 50-plus members of staff in the Tourism Ministry were placed under no threat, the order was given to evacuate the entire building. According to the police, the evacuation was carried out swiftly and without incident and most of the staff took the operation with good humour. The Balearic Minister for Tourism, Celesti Alomar was not in his office yesterday, he was in Barcelona promoting the highly controversial tourist tax. Local Police cordoned off the area and firemen stood by as GESA engineers set to work fixing the leak, which was finally sealed by 13.30. However, none of the Ministry staff returned to work yesterday for fears that they could be overcome by the effects of gas. But while Ministry staff took the incident in their stride, many of the local business community complained, not only because the only building to have been evacuated was the Ministry for Tourism, many claim that they were not informed about the gas leak.


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