Village gas main 'firebombed'

A “PETROL bomb” allegedly used to target a gas main in a sleepy village sparked a 24-hour road closure and a police investigation into the incident.

Residents in Gildingwells were stunned when a conifer hedge went up in a burst of flames at around 10.30pm last Tuesday night.

Around 50ft of greenery at the side of Woodsetts Road was ignited in an arson attack, but it later transpired that the incident could have proved far more serious, with suggestions that parts of the village were under threat from a gas explosion.

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One Gildingwells resident revealed: “As we understand it a petrol bomb was used to target a gas main down there.

“The fire itself was bad enough but if the gas main had gone up the result could have been far more serious.”

Police are investigating the blaze which has been recorded on records as a deliberate arson attack.

National Grid maintenance teams, meanwhile, were forced to close Woodsetts Road for 24 hours following the incident in order to carry out repairs to damaged gas valves that were at the centre of the incident.

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A spokeswoman said: “It was necessary for us to dig down into the road and replace the gas pressure regulator.

“Unfortunately this meant closing the road for 24 hours, causing a degree of traffic disruption.”

A spokeswoman for South Yorkshire Police added: “Officers can confirm they believe this fire was started deliberately and are appealing for anyone with information about this incident, or saw what happened that night, to contact the police immediately on 0114 220 2020 and quote reference 1270 of September 27.”