Published: 16:00, 26 April 2014
A gas leak has caused the evacuation of Castle Street and Market Square in Dover.
Police were called to the KFC in Market Square after workers undertaking a refurbishment of the fast food retailer reportedly drilled into a gas main which then sprung a leak.
Officers arrived at 12.53pm and cordoned off the road which is still closed.
The flats above a Londis shop, KFC and a nearby restaurant were evacuated as well as the British Heart Foundation.
Jenni Sutton from Country Brides said: "They've shut the whole of Castle Street, you can't get up or down.
"It's absolute chaos and lots of shops aren't impressed as they're not letting customers in."
Castle Street and Market Square was closed as well as the junction with Maison Dieu Road and traffic is being diverted to Russell Street. It is believed that Castle Street may have re-opened in the last 20 minutes.
A spokesman for Kent Police said: "Workmen cut through a gas main and caused a gas leak but no explosion.
"We were there to assist the cordon and the road closures."
Southern Gas Networks is now investigating the incident.
A spokesman said: "We arrived after the police and fire, police closed the road and we have been trying to make a repair as soon as possible.
"We’ve now found the leak and we’re just doing the checks on the properties and making sure the gas levels go back down again, once we’re satisfied they will be able to go back in."
Southern Gas Networks explained that once the gas levels return to normal the evacuees can go back to their homes and businesses.
The spokesman added: "We would like to say sorry for the disruption as a result of this emergency work and we would like to thank people for their patience.
"If anyone smells gas please contact the National Gas emergency number on 0800 111999."
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