Emergency services were called to Bentinck Street just before 10am yesterday after receiving reports of a gas leak from council workers.
Fire and Rescue NSW station officer Guy Dover said crews received a call at 9.44am to attend to the leak, in front of the King Cain Solicitors office, after council staff ruptured a gas main while undertaking works associated with Bathurst Regional Council’s ongoing water mains replacement program.
“Council staff were digging the road and hit a 75-milimetre gas main,” Mr Dover said.
“They quickly shut down equipment and called triple-0.”
Bentinck Street was closed between Keppel Street and Piper Street for the safety of pedestrians and motorists after emergency crews from Bathurst and Kelso arrived at the scene.
Also in attendance was the HAZMAT crew and a response team from Jemena Energy.
“Evacuation of all the residential and commercial buildings within 100 metres of the leak was carried out,” Mr Dover said.
Emergency services, equipped with breathing apparatus, remained on site for two hours to repair the leak.
“Jemena dug a hole either side of the gas main and sealed the leak,” Mr Dover said.
Bentinck Street was reopened by early afternoon.
Workers and residents were able to return to their buildings once given the all-clear from the firefighters.
Mr Dover said people were as co-operative as could be expected during the emergency situation in the CBD, but reminded people that they need to follow all instructions from authorities when things like gas leaks occur.
“In these situations, unfortunately, people need to understand we have a responsibility to protect people’s safety when there is danger and people need to follow our directions or they will be forcibly removed by police,” he added.