Gas leaks cause of congestion in Central
Fion Li and Benjamin Wong
The same section of Pedder Street in Central had to be sealed off twice yesterday because of gas leaks.
The first leak was discovered under a centre lane outside the Central Building during a regular check before dawn.
Emergency repair teams were called and the work was completed before 6am.
A second leak was then detected about 4.30pm under another lane. Workmen were again called and that lane was closed. Two bus stops in Pedder Street were closed and 22 bus routes diverted.
A Towngas spokeswoman said both leaks were only minor and posed no threat to safety.
'I must stress the leak is a very minor one, but given the busy pedestrian and vehicle traffic, we wanted to fix it as soon as possible to ensure safety,' she said. 'We would like to apologise to the public for the traffic congestion this incident caused.'
She said Towngas would launch an investigation into the leaks.
But district councillors were unhappy. 'Such [incidents] should not happen in Central, particularly if it may lead to an explosion [like in Ngau Tau Kok], as this is the financial centre of Hong Kong,' said Frederick Ho Chun-ki, Central and Western District councillor.
'I hope Towngas will carry out inspections on all gas pipes and change the worn-out ones.'
Another councillor, Stephen Chan Chit-kwai, urged Towngas to speed up its replacement project in the district.