Hundreds of people were evacuated in West Sussex in a major gas leak when police declared a “major incident”.
The incident reportedly took place at 12:21 p.m. in a large block of flats on Melton Mount Avenue in Crawley. Around 700 residents have been evacuated and temporarily housed, the police said in a statement.
The response included workers from West Sussex Fire and Rescue Services, South East Coast Ambulance Services, West Sussex County Council, Crawley Borough Council and Southern Gas.
Steve Rayland, Chief Detective of Sussex Police Department, said: “This is an ongoing incident that massively disrupted hundreds of people on a cold January morning and I would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding as we continue to work with our partners, to minimize the persistent disruption.
“We’re working hard to get this fixed as soon as possible so everyone can return home. However, this can still take a few hours.
“In the meantime, we urge everyone to stay away from the area so that the responding authorities can focus on resolving the incident so that residents can return home.
“The exact cause of the gas leak has yet to be determined but is not considered a criminal. We will provide more information as soon as we can.”