A HEREFORD fish and chip shop could be closed for up to two months after a delivery driver crashed into a wall, causing it to fall on to a gas cylinder.

The subsequent gas leak outside Oceans Fish & Chip Shop caused St Owen Street to close last Thursday afternoon (April 6) with a cordon put in place and nearby buildings evacuated. By 2.45pm, the gas was isolated and the road reopened.

However, for the proprietors of Oceans, the hard work has only just begun.


"I hadn't long left the shop when 20 minutes later I had a phone call from the lady next door saying there had been a gas leak and everything was being cordoned off," said Mal Williams. 

"We didn't know how it happened, but there was a lorry in the car park and it had ripped out the sides. By the barrier by the butchers, there was a man with a hi-vis on so that must have been the driver.

"The police went to see him and he admitted liability. He drove in and took out a 12 foot wall and hit a gas tank. It doesn't bear thinking about what could have happened."

Hereford Times: A cordon was put in place after a wall fell on to a damaged wall next to Oceans Fish & Chip Shop in St Owen Street, HerefordA cordon was put in place after a wall fell on to a damaged wall next to Oceans Fish & Chip Shop in St Owen Street, Hereford (Image: Main image: Flavia Fazenda; inset: Oceans Fish and Chip Shop)

Mr Williams praised the work of the emergency services, as well as Richard Wood, from Cadent, who turned off the gas.

"He was a hero and afterwards he stayed with us," he said.

"He deserves a mention, as well as the fire brigade and police. Also, Lucy Hurds who rung the fire service. 


"The pilot lights were still on so we still had gas going into the shop, so they had to turn off the mains. It will take some time before we can reopen. 

"We're a family run business, and with all the problems on St Owen Street, this just adds to it. We'll be shut between five and eight weeks, it's soul destroying."

Clearabee Limited, a rubbish removal company, confirmed that one of its drivers caused the damage.

A spokesperson said: "The driver was parking at a job (collecting waste) in a small car park with a narrowish entrance, and the end of his truck just clipped the edge of the wall and it collapsed entirely.

"It fell into the car park onto a propane tank, but the tank did have a fine mesh cage around it which I think protected it from damage.

"The driver most certainly didn't run off, he informed our office of what had happened straight away and was pretty much still standing there scratching his head looking at the damage when the police arrived.
"We understand that the police closed the road off briefly as they weren't sure if the tank had been damaged, but reopened it shortly after after finding that it had not.

"The last we heard, the tank wasn't damaged, the road was reopened and we will sort out the wall with our insurers."

West Mercia Police confirmed that it's not being treated as a criminal matter.

A spokesperson said: "The driver admitted liability and the two parties have exchanged details."