Sydney’s Central Business District Shut Down by Large Gas Leak

A ruptured gas main at Martin Place forced the evacuation of Martin Place Station and the lockdown of parts of Sydney’s CBD.  

Train service resumed on Sunday, July 8, after being halted Friday night and Saturday.

Gas was rushing out of a broken line making a noise so loud that NSW Member of Parliament Catherine Cusack described it as “unbelievable.”

“It’s a major emergency, the noise is literally deafening,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Cusack told the Herald that her residential block near Castlereagh Street and Martin Place, near where the metro station is being built, was sealed off and gas was “still blasting” at 12.30 a.m.  

People in the neighborhood started smelling gas around 10:30 p.m. on July 6. The stench and the noise grew steadily for a couple of hours. The smell of gas travelled as far as St. James Place.  

Elliot Oliver and his friends thought the sound was a thunderstorm, until they stepped outside.

“As we left the building, the sound was deafening, as if there were thousands of industrial fans right in front of you,” he told the Herald. “A police officer was standing outside and looked really surprised, telling us to get out of the area immediately.”  

New South Wales Fire and Rescue and Hazmat trucks responded to the scene. An NSW Fire and Rescue spokesman said the leak was temporarily plugged on the morning of Sunday, July 8.

“They can’t actually clamp it down at the moment,” he said. “They’ve managed to put a plug in it, but it may not necessarily hold. As soon as they can shut the leak, we will take a final [gas] reading and open the area back up.” 

The Daily Telegraph reported that the leak was caused by construction workers who didn’t realize that a gas main lay just below the asphalt they were digging up.

Police asked people to check out alternate routes if they planned to travel through that part of the city.  

Plenty of people who experienced the leak discussed it on social media.   


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