Vector losing patience over 'cluster' of gas ruptures

21:15, Jun 22 2011

Vector says it has almost lost patience with third party contractors which it says are responsible for a ''cluster'' of gas mains being ruptured in Auckland over the past month.

Emergency services are at the scene of a ruptured gas main in the Auckland suburb of Mt Roskill, which has shut down one of the area's main roads.

Police in Auckland say the gas main running along Stoddard Road, was ruptured around 2.15pm.

The rupture follows another yesterday, caused by a digger, in central Auckland which caused the evacuation of Albert Plaza on Albert St.

The leak was noticed about 2.30pm and clamped about 4pm.

No one was injured.

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In June a gas leak caused an explosion in a water pipe in Onehunga, killing one person and critically injuring another.

On June 8, buildings were evacuated in Auckland's Wynyard Quarter, after workers ruptured a gas main near the waterfront.

A Vector spokeswoman told Fairfax it appeared in the latest gas line rupture that a third party contractor had cut through a cast iron pipe.

The spokesperson said Vector was ''getting really annoyed about third party contractors not taking care''.

She said gas main ruptures in Auckland recently had been caused by third party contractors.

''None of whom have been asking for plans.''

The spokeswoman said the number of gas main ruptures was ''very worrying''.

''I don't know if they [the contractors] are trying to get ahead of the Rugby World Cup moratorium on road works and it's forcing them to rush and not to take care.''

She said Vector was looking to recover costs from the contractor.

Meanwhile diversions remain in place, with Stoddard Road closed between Sandringham Road and May Road.

The police spokesman said there was also a chance the end of the South Western Motorway between Sandringham Road and Dominion Road may be shut, but at this stage it remains open. 

Fire and police staff are at the scene.

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