Shopping centre evacuated over ‘gas leak’ as people told to ‘avoid area’

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A shopping centre in Nottingham has been evacuated over a suspected "gas leak" with people warned to "avoid the area".

The Victoria Centre was cleared shortly before 12pm on Saturday morning as Nottingham Fire and Rescue sent four engines to the site.

Crowds of people are gathered outside and a fire cordon has been put up at the Upper Parliament Street junction.

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "We have four appliances in attendance at Victoria Centre in Nottingham because of a suspected gas leak.

"People are being evacuated from the building and we ask people to avoid the area."

Videos from the scene show people being made to leave the shopping centre while firefighters are stationed at the cordon.

Taking to Twitter, a shopper wrote: "I was walking around Victoria Centre killing time [until] my sister arrives but then the alarms went off and we got told to evacuate, now there’s fire engines here."

Another tweeted: "Typical that I was trying trousers on at the time."

A third person said: "I was walking around Victoria Centre killing time 'til my sister arrives but then the alarms went off and we got told to evacuate, now there's fire engines here. I just wanted a nice chill day, why is it chaos."

A college open-day taking place nearby has been impacted with roads becoming congested.

The Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies said: "If you're coming to our college-level open day please make sure you leave enough time for travel – roads around Confetti are currently seeing high volumes of traffic due to the ongoing incident on Upper Parliament Street. Our last campus tour will leave at 3pm."

The Nottingham Playhouse has also warned potential theatre goers of traffic jams and to plan ahead, saying: "If you're heading into the city centre today for our performances today, please allow extra time for your journey."

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