‘Major gas leak’ near RVI: Hospital on lockdown and Newcastle University evacuated

Members of the public are being held inside the hospital and Newcastle University has been evacuated

Staff working at Newcastle University have been evacuated after a "major gas leak" near the Royal Victoria Infirmary.

Members of the public at the RVI are also reporting being kept inside the hospital and stuck in the car park for two hours as the leak is dealt with

The fire service is on site and handling the incident and an exclusion zone set up. Queen Victoria Road is also closed. Claremont Road has also been closed at the junction of B1318 Barras Bridge.

Newcastle University has evacuated those inside the following buildings; Ridley 1 and 2; Merz Court; Bedson Building; Armstrong Building; The Old Library Building; Percy Building and King George VI.

Newcastle Hospitals confirmed: “The RVI continues to run as normal there is no risk to patients, visitors or staff. Vehicle access to the hospital is currently restricted to emergency vehicles only.”

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “We have been alerted to a report of a gas pipe issue in Newcastle city centre on Queen Victoria Road near to the Royal Victoria Infirmary Hospital (RVI).

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“Emergency services are currently in attendance and have evacuated the nearby Newcastle University campus as a precaution.

“Some temporary road closures have been put in place for the surrounding areas covering the B1318 Great North Road, Claremont Road, Richardson Road at the junction with Queen Victoria Road, and Barras Bridge. These closures are currently estimated to be in place until around 6pm today (Thursday).

“Please could we ask that members of the public avoid the area while we support our partners to make the area safe again. Thank you for your cooperation.”

A Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) spokesperson, said: “We can confirm we are aware of the suspected gas leak on Queen Victoria Road and have had an appliance in attendance as a precaution, to support the Police and our partners.”

The gas leak has happened near Newcastle University and the RVI (Image: Google Streetview)

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At 1:30 pm a Newcastle University employee said: "It all started over an hour ago, but it's just escalated. Initially, it was thought that it was a gas leak from the Bedson Building (Chemistry), then it was expanded further and an initial exclusion zone was set up where they were diverting people around the building.

"Then they realised it was coming from the road and they started evacuating some of the other buildings. They had told people that they could go back to work just over an hour ago, then sent the email about the complete evacuation of the buildings."