Investigations into Buxton pipe blast underway

Investigations are underway to determine what caused a gas pipe to rupture – sparking a fire which burned for several hours.

By Michael Broomhead
Monday, 8th December 2014, 1:45 pm
Buxton gas blast. Picture by Mark Chesney.
Buxton gas blast. Picture by Mark Chesney.

The blaze caused disruption to road and rail travel in Buxton on Sunday morning while the town’s Aldi supermarket was closed for most of the day.

Emergency services were called to a wooded area close to Charles Street at about 12.20am on Sunday after receiving reports of a blaze.

A gas pipe had ruptured, resulting in a fire which saw flames leaping several feet into the air.

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Firefighters had extinguished the blaze by about 10.30am.

Nobody was injured and no evacuations were needed.

A spokesman for National Grid said there was no disruption to people’s gas supplies and engineers had been at the site to repair the pipe.

However, supplies at the Palace Hotel had to be cut off for about eight hours to preserve stocks.

The spokesman added that investigations to establish what caused the pipe to rupture could take “weeks or months”.

The pipe supplies gas to about 3,000 properties in the town.

Engineers decided not to cut off the gas supply as this would have caused significant disruption to homeowners.

Eyewitness Kenny Robertson, who sent the Buxton Advertiser some dramatic footage of the fire for our website, said: “We drove into Aldi car park around midnight.

“The fire looked like the pyrotechnics from a Kiss concert or something.

“It was making a wooshing sound like a giant deodorant can, so we called the fire brigade and backed off just as the police were arriving.”

Vicky Gordon added: “We saw huge flames at about 2.30am and heard a hissing noise which was clearly the gas escaping from the pipe.

“It was a scary sight.”

Police closed Charles Street at its junction at the Bridge Street roundabout and at the opposite end while emergency services dealt with the incident.

Officers apologised for any inconvenience caused.

Aldi was closed in the morning but opened for the afternoon.

Delays were also reported on the nearby Buxton train line.