Just before 11.40am on Monday (13 November), Staffordshire and West Midlands Fire Control started to receive 999 calls from people in Tipton, Wednesbury and Walsall reporting a strong smell of gas.
Twenty calls were received, between 11.39am and 12.44pm.
Fire crews responded to six locations:
* Salter Road, Tipton where advice was given to several residents to ventilate their properties
* a doctors surgery on St Marks Road, Tipton, where the smell of gas was reported. No one was reported ill and the gas supply was isolated as a precaution
* Richards Road, Tipton, from where a man and a woman in their 70s are understood to have been taken to hospital with breathing difficulties
* an infants’ school in Crew Road, Wednesbury where gas alarms had activated. No one was reported ill, and the school’s gas supply was isolated as a precaution
* a school academy site in Friar Park Road, Wednesbury, where a full evacuation had been carried out and everyone was accounted for
* a junior school in Hobs Road, Wednesbury. A full evacuation was carried out prior to our arrival. Gas supply was isolated as a precaution
Elliott Nelson, Network Director for Cadent in the West Midlands said: “Yesterday we received an unprecedented amount of calls in Tipton and the local area about a smell that people were concerned was natural gas.
“Our engineers have worked tirelessly through the night to investigate each and every call. We have found no evidence that the smell is caused by natural gas. We will now continue to work with other agencies to investigate the cause of the smell.
“Our concern in incidents like this is that, in amongst the smells that are not gas, there may be an isolated and unrelated real gas leak. That’s why it’s important to ring the national gas emergency service on 0800 111 999, if you ever smell gas, suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, or notice damage to gas pipes”
If you can smell gas and/or think there could be a leak, report it immediately on 0800 111 999.