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Homes Alerted In Gas Drama (2 of 3)

17 Jul 1969
Lucas Wood Top Works, Villiers Street, Burnley

Homes Alerted In Gas Drama (2 of 3)

Police constable A. B. Moorhouse calls to give a householder the “all clear” in Cog Lane.
Police, firemen and nearby residents stood by on an evacuation alert yesterday, as potentially lethal propane gas leaked from an eight-and-a-half-ton tank at the nearby Wood top works of Joseph Lucas Ltd. The scare began at 9.55 am near Lucas's car park in Brush Street, Burnley, when a routine job suddenly turned into drama. Workmen from British Oxygen Co., Ltd., who were moving the huge tank by crane, scattered as the tank slipped and keeled over. The impact of the fall broke a mesh fence and fractured the feed pipe on the belly of the tank, releasing the propane into the atmosphere in the form of vapour.
Immediately an emergency call went out to the police and fire services, who converged on the area. Traffic was diverted and nearby householders, especially those in higher Cog Lane area, were told to switch of all appliances and refrain from lighting fires or matches until the alarm was over.
A British Oxygen Company engineer, Mr. E. Woodier, rushed from his base in Worsley, near Manchester, to supervise the remainder of the work in progress. A police spokesman added that there was a danger of explosion from a spark, which could have ignited the propane. A team of policemen went round to the householders individually to tell them to be on the alert of any possible evacuation, and later visited each house again to announce the "all clear".