Fire crews have managed to extinguish a fire after a ruptured gas main in Pendle Road, Clitheroe.
Forty homes and businesses have been evacuated and Pendle Road remains closed to motorists while crews clear the scene.
Two fire engines from Clitheroe were called to the scene shortly before 10 am today (Tuesday) and since then officials from National Grid, ambulance and Ribble Valley Borough Council are also at the site.
Pendle Court has opened its doors to residents and traders who have been asked to leave their homes and businesses due to safety concerns.
Sisters Noreen Worthington and Amy Broughton, who run W.B. Furniture, directly opposite the fire, were among the first to hear the explosion. They said: “We were inside our shop and suddenly heard a huge bang. The whole building shook. It seemed as though something big had landed or crashed into our shop. We looked out of the window and saw the flames and alerted the emergency services and the gas board.”
They added: “We don’t know when we will be allowed back into our business. We have been seeking refuge at Pendle Court who have been extremely nice and helpful.”
The whole building shook. It seemed as though something big had landed or crashed into our shop.Sisters Noreen Worthington and Amy Broughton
Investigations continue into the cause of the ruptured gas main, but no-one is believed to have been injured and no property damaged.