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Cinema and restaurants evacuated after gas leak at Norwich retail park

PUBLISHED: 15:46 19 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:49 19 June 2019

Odeon cinema at the Norwich Riverside retail park was evacuated after a suspected gas leak. Photo : Steve Adams

Odeon cinema at the Norwich Riverside retail park was evacuated after a suspected gas leak. Photo : Steve Adams

Copyright Archant Norfolk 2015

A cinema and restaurants at a Norwich shopping complex were evacuated after a gas leak.

The Odeon cinema and two restaurants at the Norwich Riverside retail park were evacuated after a gas leak. Photo: ArchantThe Odeon cinema and two restaurants at the Norwich Riverside retail park were evacuated after a gas leak. Photo: Archant

Three fire crews from Carrow, Earlham and Sprowston were at the scene of the gas leak at Riverside retail park on Tuesday afternoon at 2.45pm.

Odeon cinema, in Wherry Lane, had been evacuated as well as Nando's, Iguanas and the Queen of Iceni pub while firefighters dealt with the incident.

Police and Cadent Gas were also at the scene and a cordon was placed around the area.

The retail park, just a short walk from the railway station, occupies several restaurants and shops.

The Odeon cinema and two restaurants at the Norwich Riverside retail park were evacuated after a gas leak. Photo: ArchantThe Odeon cinema and two restaurants at the Norwich Riverside retail park were evacuated after a gas leak. Photo: Archant

One restaurant worker who was stood outside for almost an hour after the evacuation said staff and visitors were told to leave the building by a fireman.

"There was a crowd of people coming out," she said. "We had asked what happened and someone said there had been a gas leak.

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"Couple of minutes later a fireman came in saying 'get out now', we could smell gas when we came outside.

The Odeon cinema and two restaurants at the Norwich Riverside retail park were evacuated after a gas leak. Photo: ArchantThe Odeon cinema and two restaurants at the Norwich Riverside retail park were evacuated after a gas leak. Photo: Archant

"Everyone just seemed confused and curious."

Some 20 people were stood outside as they waited for firefighters to lift the cordon, including residents who lived in the River Heights apartments opposite the cinema.

Vijay Dasari, 30, said he had noticed the police car at 3.25pm when he left his flat for a short time to meet a friend.

Just 20 minutes later, he returned to find he could not enter the apartment car park after the cordon was placed, although this was removed shortly before 4pm.

The Riverside retail park in Norwich houses a number of shops and restaurants. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Riverside retail park in Norwich houses a number of shops and restaurants. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

"I saw the cops and they said there was nothing to worry about," he said.

A spokesman from Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service said they were called after gas could be smelt by a number of people. 
He added: "There was every indication the gas leak was coming from the cinema complex, so the site was evacuated and people were moved away from the area.

"We isolated the gas mains and ventilated the property."

He said the evacuation process ran smoothly with everyone leaving the building calmly. The gas leak was dealt with an hour after the initial call was made and the matter was handed over to the gas board.

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