Library shut after gas leak

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A LIBRARY was closed for more than three hours after a gas leak in a street.

Hartlepool’s Central Library, in York Road, was evacuated mid-morning yesterday after gas could be smelled outside the building.

Northen Gas Networks was called and found a damaged pipe in nearby Villiers Street.

A spokeswoman for the firm praised the person who reported the leak and said such calls can “save lives”.

She said: “We attended a report of a gas escape outside the Central Library.

“We discovered one of the gas mains had been damaged by a third party. Our engineers made it safe before starting a full repair.

“As it was outside, there was no direct impact on the library.

“These can be life-saving calls and we would urge anyone who smells gas to contact us immediately.”

The library was back open at 3pm.

A Hartlepool Borough Council spokesman said: “There seems to have been some form of gas leak in an adjoining street.

“As a precaution, the Central Library was closed at about 11.30am and everyone was safely evacuated from the library until it was safe for them to return.”

Northern Gas Networks can be contacted on 0800 111999.