Page last updated at 15:03 GMT, Monday, 4 January 2010

Hundreds without gas after flood

Resident David Jones said the community was pulling together

About 400 homes in West Yorkshire are facing a fourth day without gas in freezing conditions after water from a flooded brook entered a gas main.

Three schools have also been affected by the supply failure in the Batley and Dewsbury areas.

The schools - Hanging Heaton CofE School, Mill Lane Junior and Infant School and Show Cross Infant and Nursery School - were closed on Monday.

Northern Gas Networks apologised and has supplied residents with heaters.

The company said the fire service had helped remove hundreds of gallons of water from around the fractured main so engineers could repair it.

Safety checks

It said an investigation into "how such a small brook could flood with so much water" was under way.

In a statement the company apologised, adding: "Further checks are being conducted this evening on two other gas mains feeding the local area, to see if water passed into the network.

"Pressure is not building sufficiently enough to safely restore supplies, this might be due to a secondary water ingress point.

"Safety remains the priority for engineers, which is why several hundred homes continue to have their gas interrupted."

Drop-in centres have been set up for residents at Ebenezer Methodist Church Hall on Kirkgate, Dewsbury and Shaw Cross Community Centre on Leeds Road, Dewsbury, where electric heaters are available.

Heaters were also delivered to vulnerable customers, the company said.

Resident Janet Anderson said: "This is a bad time for it to happen. It's been shocking but we're all binding together to help each other.

"We've been delivering heaters and hobs and everything to the people who are vulnerable."

The company said engineers would visit affected homes to carry out safety checks and reconnect the gas supply once it was safe to do so.

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