Businesses forced to flee after leak

Gas leak on Spendmore Lane, Coppull
Gas leak on Spendmore Lane, Coppull

Homes and businesses were forced to evacuate when a gas leak spread in a Chorley village.

Police warned the incident could have been ‘very serious’ when workmen cut a hole in a gas pipe on Spendmore Lane in Coppull and gas started to spread.

It meant four businesses, one flat, and one house were forced to evacuate when gas levels became dangerously high after the leak on Thursday afternoon.

Among those to be evacuated was Jacci Taylor, who owns The Boutique with sister Gill Bitmez. The pair had organised an open evening for their business but were forced to abandon plans after workmen told them it wasn’t safe.

Jacci, who has been in business for three years, said: “We were told there was an electrical fault which had gone through a gas pipe and caused a leak.

“We were meant to be having our open evening but when the gas people came and took the gas levels we had to evacuate. They said it was too dangerous.

“Earlier on in the day we had customers but they weren’t comfortable being in there.

“The floor was vibrating at the front of the shop, I think because they were boosting the electric, and there was smoke coming out of the manhole. We lost a lot of money because our open evenings are very popular.

“My sister who lives in the flat above also had to be evacuated and stayed with me all night.”

People were allowed back into their businesses on Friday morning.

Sgt Andy Bramhall of Chorley police said: “It could have been really nasty, especially in the light of what happened in Oldham recently.

“They were doing some work on the pavement and the electricity cables short circuited and burnt their way trough a plastic cable. There was a power cut in the area and gas leaking. They could cut the electric off but they couldn’t turn the power off.”