A THIRD party damaged the gas main on London Road yesterday, SGN has confirmed.

In an update issued to the Journal, the gas company said its specialist engineering team worked through the night and are currently exploring all options to ensure a safe and quick repair.

The gas leak led to the closure of London Road between the A30/A338 roundabout and the Hampton Park roundabout during rush hour, the evacuation of a nearby secondary school and the suspension of train services between Salisbury and Andover.

Salisbury Journal:

Katie Lobban, spokesperson for gas network company SGN, said: "Due to the recent bad weather and ground conditions, this process is taking longer than first anticipated.

"Due to the close proximity of our gas main to the railway line, South Western Railway has closed the line between Salisbury and Andover for safety reasons. The railway line will remain closed until the gas leak has been made safe.

"There are also two mobile phone network masts within our cordon which have been turned off to ensure everyone's safety.

"We apologise for the inconvenience this will cause. This is an extremely complex engineering project  and we'd like to assure you we're working as quickly as possible to resolve the situation."

Ms Lobhan added that they are making good progress and will have another update after lunch time. 

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (DWFRS) also issued a fresh statement this morning, having last night said the leak was caused "by someone digging and rupturing a gas pipe". 

SEE ALSO: London Road leak caused by "someone digging and rupturing a gas pipe"

 DWFRS said repairs are expected to take until the early afternoon of Thursday, April 18.

DWFRS said: “The Salisbury to Andover stretch of railway line will remain closed until this work is complete, and further updates will be made via Network Rail and South Western Railway.

“DWFRS remain on scene to maintain a 60m safety cordon around the leak, but have scaled back attendance to one fire engine and a water carrier.

“Anyone in the immediate area may still be able to smell gas in the air, so the advice remains to stay indoors and keep doors/windows closed.”