EMERGENCY services evacuated a construction site near Son Dureta hospital yesterday after a gas leak sparked a major safety alert.
The alarm was raised at mid-day on the sire near the hospital where houses and apartments are being built. It is believed than a digger fractured a gas pipe and residents in calle Illes Balears, worried by the strong smell of gas, contacted the gas company and the police. Fire fighters from the Sa Teulera station just 300 metres away were first at the scene, followed by the Local and then National Police.
The street was completely closed off to traffic while nerves started to run high as, amidst all the initial chaos, gas continued to leak out of the damaged pipe. A team of engineers from the power company GESA were quickly at the scene and they managed to temporarily shut down the gas supply in the street in order to stop the leak while fire fighters wearing oxygen tanks stood by in case of an emergency. The 30 construction site workers were moved some 100 yards from the scene of the accident and ordered neither to smoke nor use mobile telephones until the situation was under control. “Everything happened very quickly,” one of the builders on the site said “we really didn't know what was going on. “We were working in one of the apartments and we were suddenly ordered to abandon the building,” he added. “We just hung around in the shade of a tree while the emergency services did whatever they had to do,” he said.
The area remained sealed off for the hour it took engineers to stop the leak and give the all clear for the workers to return to work.