More than 60 homes were evacuated on Sunday after a gas leak was detected on Balham High Road in the early hours . Officers from the council’s emergency response team were called out after residents reported smelling gas. The alerts led to a section of Balham High Road being closed off and homes evacuated amid fears of an explosion.
The immediate area’s electricity supply was cut-off as a precaution and the council opened the nearby Balham Leisure Centre to act as an emergency shelter for evacuees.
The council, police and fire brigade remained on high alert until Southern Gas gave the all-clear at 11.00 am and residents were allowed to return to their homes. The leak came from a section of pipe running beneath the high street. Southern Gas is still investigating the cause.
Head of Operational Services, Kevin Power, was onsite to coordinate the council’s emergency team. He commented: “Our staff worked closely with the police and the fire brigade to ensure that the evacuation was completed quickly and calmly.
“We have tried and tested procedures for situations like this and I’m happy to say that the evacuation went very smoothly. We moved residents to the Leisure Centre where staff were on hand to assist them and to make sure they had a hot drink, something to eat and somewhere to rest.
“Once the gas company repaired the leak our team returned the relieved residents to their homes.”