Monday 8 January, 4pm. The whole of Lancing, Sompting and central and east Worthing grinds to a standstill following the closure of the A27. Contractors caught a main gas pipe underneath the eastbound carriageway, on the section between Church Lane and Dankton Lane. The normally busy road was quiet, apart from the sound of rushing gas. For three hours the road was closed as Transco engineers fixed the leak, and it was not until 7.30pm that the road was reopened.
No workmen were injured in the incident, which was apparently caused by the underground pipe not being where it was supposed to be. Work on the westbound carriageway had previously been delayed due to plans of underground services (including drainage) not accurately reflecting the true locations of underground pipes.
Monday 15 January, 9am. For the second time within a week, the A27 is closed due to a major gas leak in the same location. Rush-hour traffic was again subjected to diversions as the A27 was closed, although West Street remained open, although gridlocked.
Pictured below are exclusive photographs of the second incident. Click on the images to view full-size versions.
Emergency services survey the damage to the sound of rushing gas.
Looking east from Dankton Lane, the normally busy A27 is deserted. Even the contractors vehicles lay idle as the problem is resolved.
The A27 looking westwards from Dankton Lane, with the emergency services at the scene in the background. The A27 would normally be very busy at this time.
Transco engineers at the scene to inspect the damage.
Emergency services standing by.
West Street suffers gridlock, as rush-hour traffic struggles to get through.