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Friday, January 20, 2012

Liverpool city centre locked down amid fears of a huge gas explosion after pipe ruptures at former Lewis’s building

HUNDREDS of people were evacuated from streets, homes and businesses amid fears of a huge gas explosion in Liverpool city centre.

Police cordoned off roads within a 200m radius of the former Lewis’s department store after emergency services received reports of a suspected gas leak around 11.30am yesterday.

Four fire crews attended and firefighters helped police evacuate premises.

The strict safety cordon caused severe knock-on effects to public transport and the city centre came to a standstill.

Bus services were subject to delay and diversion while trains were prevented from stopping or passing through Liverpool Central station.

Around 15 Merseyrail staff stood outside Central station warding off frustrated commuters who couldn’t get into the station.

On the Northern Line, Southport, Kirkby, and Ormskirk services were starting and finishing at Moorfields, while services from Kirkby to the city centre stopped at Sandhills.

A huge part of the city centre was closed, including parts of Elliot Street, Ranelagh Street, Lime Street and Copperas Hill forcing shops to shut and traffic to be diverted.

Drivers and pedestrians were advised to avoid the area completely. Read More