Wellington homes evacuated after possible gas leak

Ben Irwin / Newshub.
Ben Irwin / Newshub.

Fourteen homes were evacuated after a gas leak in the north Wellington suburb of Johnsonville this afternoon.

A gas main is thought to have been ruptured by an excavator working on a road around 4pm and soon after gas was smelt in several homes.

The houses were then evacuated and the power cut off.

"Our gas level indicators were telling us that the gas was potentially hazardous in terms of its explosive limits, so we had to try and stabilise that situation," New Zealand Fire Service assistant area commander Mike Dombroski told Newshub.

"We evacuated 14 houses that were adjacent to the gas leak and also as a precaution, to prevent ignition sources, we isolated the power to the street," Mr Dombroski said.

Resident Ted Slevin said his family was getting ready to cook dinner when their power went out.

"Then the heat went off and because it was getting dark so we couldn’t see either. We had a brief family meeting and decided the thing to do was to go out for a meal," said Mr Slevin.

He said his family was lucky they weren't evacuated.

"We had a chat to the guy on the perimeter and he said it'd be about an hour [before the power was turned back on], and then it turned into two-to-three hours."

The gas leak has now been isolated and contained.

The local power company is currently going through the process of reinstating power and residents are being told they can return to their homes.