A primary school has been evacuated and some traffic diversions are in place after contractors ruptured a gas main at new roadworks near the Paremata Roundabout on State Highway 1 north of Porirua this morning.
Inspector John Spence, Kapiti Mana Police Area Commander, says emergency services were called just after 9am this morning and are still at the scene. Although there is a strong smell of gas in the area he is not aware of anyone requiring medical attention.
"About 350 children from the nearby Paremata Primary School have been evacuated to the Royal New Zealand Police College purely as a safety precaution as the school is downwind from the leak," Inspector Spence says.
Staff from the nearby Mobil Service Station at the Paremata Road/SH1 junction have also been evacuated.
Inspector Spence says the ruptured main is in the construction area for a new second roundabout just north of the main Paremata roundabout.
There is some disruption to traffic although motorists can still drive freely north and south on SH1. The traffic diversions only apply to:
â€¢ southbound motorists driving from the Whitby/Pauatahanui area on SH58 are being temporarily diverted through Postgate Drive, Whitby. They cannot get to the Paremata Roundabout.
â€¢ northbound SH1 motorists who want to turn right at the Paremata Roundabout onto either SH58 (to Whitby, Pauatahanui and Haywards Hill) or Paremata Road need to use Whitford Brown Avenue.
â€¢ southbound motorists from SH1 can still turn left at Paremata onto SH58 as their turnoff is just by the bridge. However they cannot take the Paremata Road exit.
The diversions are expected to be in place until possibly lunchtime.