HOMES were evacuated and a road closed after a gas leak in Southchurch this afternoon.

Firefighters evacuated seven people and closed Ely Road, Southchurch, after a resident burst a gas main in a garden with a garden fork at about 2.50pm.

The house where the leak happened and the properties either side were emptied and the road closed as a precaution as the firefighters plugged the leak with specialist tape.

A team from the gas board then carried out a permanent repair.