Gas leak sparks mall evacuation
Shoppers are being allowed to return to Bishopdale Mall after an LPG gas leak forced an evacuation of the centre.
Up to 90 per cent of the mall was closed this morning after workers installing cable underground near the mall burst a gas pipe.
Fire Service assistant area commander Dave Berry said the situation was under control and shoppers would be allowed to return to the mall.
The leak had been potentially dangerous, he said.
"It was low-pressure gas coming out. There could have been a fire, but once it was dispersed there were no problems," he said.
Fire crews had created a 100-metre cordon downwind of the leak and watered the gas with a hose.
Berry said the Harewood Rd gas main had been switched off.
Some businesses in the area would be without gas for a while, he said.
Mike Tucker, from Bishopdale Pets, said his store had been closed.
"We just had a worker come in in a high-vis vest and tell us all to leave because the gas had been cut," he said.
"You could smell it in the back room."
Tucker said he had to leave all his pets in the store and he was anxious to retrieve them.
Electricity was cut to the mall yesterday, he said.
In March last year, a drainage contractor came close to being killed when he hit a buried 66,000-volt power cable.
Jack Peke was breaking concrete under the corner of Ruskin St and Antigua St when he smashed through Orion's main service line between Addington and south Christchurch.
He narrowly avoided being vaporised and cutting power to thousands of customers.