Homes evacuated after car crash causes gas leak


By Kirsty Topping


HOUSEHOLDERS in a quiet village had to be evacuated after a car smashed into a gas main.

Twenty-six people in Newton of Falkland, Fife spent the night in the nearby Malt Bar Inn after the incident at Wayside Bungalow at around half past midnight this morning (Fri).

The car struck the home of Desi and Ernst Van Beusekom, who also own the Malt Barn Inn.

Mrs Van Beusekom (32) said:

“I had just gone to bed when I heard a very strange scraping sound and several bangs.

“I saw the car hit some pots outside the Malt Barn Inn, which is about 50 yards from the house, then rip the gas pipe clean off.

“There was a tremendous hissing noise and an overwhelming smell of gas and I honestly thought the house was going to blow up. “

She quickly grabbed her 69-year-old husband and the couple’s Old English Sheepdog and rushed out of the house as quickly as she could before rousing her neighbours and calling the police.

“We opened up the Malt Barn Inn and everyone gathered there in their nightclothes,’ she said.

“It was about 3am before everyone was allowed home.

“I’m just glad that I happened to be up later than usual as otherwise I might not have heard the hissing.

“It was a narrow squeak but apart from being tired no-one is any the worse. “

Fire and ambulance crews attended but not one was injured in the crash, which involved a red Fiat car.

Transco also attended.

A fire service spokeswoman said:

“A car smashed into a gas main outside a cottage. This resulted in residents being evacuated. “

A 64-year-old woman has since been charged with road traffic offences and a report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal.

Community Sergeant Colette Mathersaid: “I wish to thank the people ofNewton of Falkland for their helpin dealing with this incident and particularly to the owner of the Malt Barn Inn for allowing it be used to shelter people who were evacuated for their homes.”