About 50 to 60 homes were evacuated in Pegasus today after a gas leak caused by a ruptured main.
Woodend Volunteer Fire Brigade chief fire officer Murray Lamb said fire fighters were called to the North Canterbury town about 11.30am.
A gas leak was ruptured after a digger hit the line. Normally a leak can be isolated within 10 minutes but in this case it took longer to "cap off" the main because of issues isolating the valves, Lamb said.
Because of the danger to surrounding residents, about six streets were evacuated as a precaution around the intersection of Pegasus Blvd and Turvey St. Police operated a cordon in the area.
Once the main was isolated, fire fighters dispersed the remaining gas and the area was checked for any gas pockets.
Residents were allowed back in their homes by 2pm, and Lamb said though it was a serious situation, "it was manageable".
He said the evacuation was done "for the safety of everyone".
"We don't take that risk."
- The Press