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Retail park reopens after suspected methane gas leak

Fire crews were at the scene in Farnborough for three hours on Thursday afternoon after the retail park was evacuated over fears of a methane gas leak

The Solartron Retail Park had to be evacuated on Thursday following a suspected methane gas leak

A Farnborough retail park has reopened this morning (April 25) after being evacuated yesterday afternoon following a suspected methane gas leak.

All nine units at the Solartron Retail Park, in Solartron Road, were evacuated at around 3pm and police and fire crews were called to the scene.

It is thought one of the units near to the entrance of the retail park was at the centre of the alert after an electrical fault with a ventilation system was detected, which could have meant a methane leak.

A cordon was put in place and fire crews from Rushmoor and Basingstoke fire stations were at the scene until just before 6pm.

No methane was then detected but the store was advised by the fire service to have its equipment checked.

Staff were sent home early but the retail park reopened shortly before 10.30am today after being checked by inspectors.

DFS, Pets at Home, Paul Simon, Carpet Right, ScS, Dreams and Maplin all operate from the retail park.

Lesley Dale, manager of the Pets at Home store in the retail park, said: "We had someone on site this morning and we had to wait for the all-clear to see when we could open.

"We all had to be evacuated and go across the road. The manager of the retail park came and kept us all informed and the firemen and police told us what was going on.

"We were there for about two and a half hours then we were quickly let back in to get our belongings and then had to go home."

Rushmoor fire station crew manager, Ian Crawley, said the retail park is built on an old waste site and there is legislation in place to make sure the levels of methane in the area are monitored, as a condition of the site receiving planning permission.

He said: "The company that called us did the right thing because their equipment was detecting a fault, which could have meant a methane leak.

"It took quite a while to get to the bottom of it.

"Our advice was for them to get professional services in as soon as possible to check the equipment, before re-opening to the public."

 

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