Quick-thinking to avert gas blast

Kevin Conner
Kevin Conner

A GAS engineer has been praised after his swift actions prevented what could have been a big explosion.

As reported in yesterday’s Mail, residents in Grange Terrace, in Shotton, were forced to leave their homes while fire crews, police and gas engineers made the area safe.

It has since emerged that Kevin Conner, who works for Northern Gas Networks, was first at the scene, around 1pm on Tuesday, and alerted the other emergency servives when he realised the severity of the leak.

Kevin, 49, from Wheatley Hill, said: “My initial thought was that I needed to disconnect the gas supply. Then, I was worried there could be someone inside.

“As the area’s gas emergency response provider, we are usually first on the scene when there’s a gas leak. Our top priority is to protect life and property so it was essential to work fast and get the gas switched off.”

With the gas supply disconnected and the pipe safely capped, Kevin then needed to ventilate the property.

He added: “When the fire brigade arrived we agreed on the need to act swiftly and they decided to get inside the property by taking out a window. One of the firemen was clearly affected by the strong smell of gas as they took the window out and they put breathing apparatus on before going inside.”

The engineer worked with the fireman to advise them on how to deal with the situation using his expertise.

Northern Gas Networks area operations manager Richard Hynes-Cooper said: “This was a true test of skill and nerve and we’re proud of Kevin’s quick-thinking.

“His actions helped bring the situation under control without incident.

“Like all our engineers, Kevin is highly trained and equipped to deal with any gas emergency situation.”

Anyone who thinks they may smell a gas leak is urged to call Northern Gas Networks 0800 111 999 immediately.

The service is completely free and calls are responded to day and night, 365 days a year.