Gas leak leaves 16 displaced overnight

Burst pipes at Bellinistraat (Handhaving Capelle/Twitter). (Burst pipes at Bellinistraat (Handhaving Capelle/Twitter))

Sixteen people were removed from their homes after gas and water leaks occurred on Bellinistraat in Capelle aan den IJssel, Zuid-Holland early Wednesday morning. There was no damage to the affected homes and no residents were reported injured.

Residents were allowed to return to their homes shortly after 6:00 a.m. Eighty houses on Bellinistraat and Monteverdistraat lost water service.

At about 1:00 a.m., water gushed from a burst water main, flooding the ground surrounding it. The adjacent gas pipe collapsed shortly after. The main break was initially thought to have been caused by sewer work on the street.

The occupants of eight homes were taken from the area by emergency services personnel and were then huddled in the town hall.

"It was good that we could smell the gas," said resident Annemarie Blok. Blok awoke at approximately 1:45 a.m. to the sight of flashing lights at her front door. "We had to get out immediately." According to Blok, it was clear why the evacuation was necessary; the smell of gas was extremely strong, she told AD.

"It's unreal", said Blok. "This kind of situation, you only see on the news and you think, 'Oh, how sad for those poor people...'"

Crews from water supplier Evides are now working to repair the malfunctioning pipes, while the main water pipeline remains closed, reported