UPDATE: Fire crews working to control Ilford gas leak

Firefighters are continuing efforts to stem a gas leak inside a disused swimming pool.

Around 40 firefighters, including a scientific team, are outside Ilford Baths, High Road, Ilford.

They were called to the scene at just before 11am today to reports of a gas leak.

Dagenham Fire Station manager Paul McClenaghan said: “It looks like a main pipe has been ruptured in the building and filled the swimming pool up.

“We tried to ventilate it [the building] and we are monitoring the gas to prevent a blast. We are going to put crews in to check the explosive gas limit.

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“The gas company is going to have to dig up the road. For the time being the High Road is going to be shut for a couple of hours.

“We removed all ignition points. That could be anything that could cause a spark, from a light switch going off or a person smoking.”

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He added workmen, possibly connected with the building of the Isaac Newton Academy, had smelt the gas and called the fire brigade.

Staff inside the Recorder’s office, which is close to the scene, have been asked to stay away from the side of the building facing High Road.

The Cauliflower pub and another nearby office have also been evacuated and a cordon preventing members of the public from accessing the immediate area remains in place.

Conflicting reports suggest the pipe was damaged either by workmen who occasionally enter the building, or vagrants.

Are you at the scene? Call the Recorder on 020 8477 3806 or email zjan.shirinian@archant.co.uk.

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