Residents demand report on gas leaks

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 May, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 05 May, 2006, 12:00am

Residents in a street where one of 51 gas leaks was found in a city-wide survey of the Towngas network have demanded a full report on the pipeline survey carried out by Hong Kong and China Gas.

Kwai Chung resident Leung Yan-foon, 53, who lives in Fu Yiu House on Lai Yiu Street next to where the faulty pipeline is located, said Towngas should tell them the condition of the pipes.

'I am worried because a minute gas leakage could cause an explosion such as in Ngau Tau Kok,' the housewife said, referring to a fatal gas blast last month.

'I want them to step up their checking measures, at least coming to inspect the facilities in our homes three times a year instead of once a year.'

After a three-week inspection of pipes, Towngas revealed on Wednesday that minute leaks were found in Lai Yiu Street in Kwai Chung, the junction of Wong Chuk Hang Road and Nam Long Shan Road on Hong Kong Island, and Prince Edward Road West in Kowloon. Minute leaks were also found in 30 joints and 18 above-ground installations.

The survey was launched after the fatal gas blast in Ngau Tau Kok on April 11, which killed an elderly woman and injured eight people.

Kwai Tsing district councillor Wong Yiu-chung questioned why Towngas waited until Wednesday to reveal the leaks when the inspection in Kwai Chung was done last month. 'The gas supply was suspended for four to five hours on a day in late April. Nobody would have known a gas leak was detected except they were told by some on-site workers,' he said.

A spokeswoman for Towngas said minute leaks were considered 'safe' and the pipelines had been fixed.

Towngas executive director and chief operating officer James Kwan Yuk-choi said gas concentrations in the minute leaks were low and could not be ignited easily. He said Towngas would increase inspections from three to six times a year.