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Gas leak fears led to Rayleigh store’s closure
A SUPERMARKET was evacuated after a suspected gas leak.
Staff and customers at Sainsbury’s, at Rayleigh Weir, raised the alarm after a strong smell of gas in the store.
Two engines from nearby Rayleigh Weir fire station went to the store shortly before 4.15pm on Wednesday, and began a thorough search of the building after ensuring everyone was safely outside.
One customer, who did not want to be named, was shocked to see the commotion when he arrived to do his weekly family shopping.
He said: “I drove up to the car park on the roof, and while I was trying to find a space I noticed a security guard waving his arms at me and telling me to do back down.
“I could smell quite a strong gassy smell. It was very distinct in my car with the windows shut, so I imagine it would have been very strong if you were inside.
“On my way out, I noticed customers were trying to get back on to the roof to return to their cars, but they were all being stopped. There were huge crowds of people gathered outside, quite far away from the doors, and loads of firefighters were making their way inside.
“It was a good job I arrived after they had already started evacuating the building, because I would have ended up stranded for hours as I always park up the top.”
Following a through ventilation of the supermarket, firefighters eradicated the smell by 5.15pm.
They remained at the scene until engineers from National Grid arrived to investigate the leak.
A spokesman for the supermarket said: “The safety of our customers and colleagues is our top priority, so following advice from the fire brigade the store is temporarily closed. We apologise for any inconvenience."