Contractor cuts through gas pipe

A gas pipe has exploded in Hamilton this afternoon leaving a contractor with burns and cutting off phones for at least a dozen houses in of the suburb of Claudelands.

Chorus technician Wilfredo Pavino was fixing a cable fault for a costumer on East Rd, when he accidentally cut a pressurised gas pipe.

"It did not really explode, it just burst," Pavino said. "My initial reaction was to get out of the hole."

Pavino immediately called the fire service, who arrived at the blaze about 3pm.

Two fire engines and a command unit with specialised gas equipment attended the scene.

Two Vector contractors were also called in to isolate the gas.

Pavino, who immigrated to New Zealand from the Philippines six years ago, said it was his first on-job incident.

The resulting fire left him with minor burns and blisters. He was treated by St John paramedics at the scene.

As a result of the fire, which burnt through a Telecom cable on one side of the road, more than 10 houses were left without a phone connection.

Pavino said the line would most likely be restored by tomorrow.

Waikato Times