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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 October 2006, 06:23 GMT 07:23 UK
Refinery emergency under control
Fawley refinery

A 29-hour gas leak on board a tanker at the UK's largest oil refinery has been brought under control.

Southampton Water and port had to be closed on Tuesday night when a faulty valve caused propane to leak from the ship Ennerdale at Fawley refinery.

The leak was brought under control at 0300 BST on Thursday and a 400m exclusion zone has now been dropped.

In a statement, the refinery said an investigation has been launched into the incident.

There were fears the gas could ignite and the Solent's Marine Response Plan, known as Solfire, was immediately initiated to manage the incident after the leak started at 2200 BST on Tuesday.

One injury

The tanker, Ennerdale, was carrying 1,600 tonnes of liquid propane from Fawley.

Ferries to the Isle of Wight were stopped on Tuesday night but restarted on Wednesday morning and the port was re-opened, although a 400m exclusion zone remained around the ship.

The refinery's fire crews and other agencies spent Wednesday battling to control the leak. Water jets were used to disperse leaking vapour.

Southampton harbourmaster Steven Young said the risk of the propane igniting had been very low.

There was one minor injury and the person was treated in hospital before being discharged.

Port is reopened after gas leak
18 Oct 06 |  Hampshire

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