Gas leak triggers asbestos scare at Barking flats

Health and safety bosses have sought to reassure the public after discovering asbestos during a gas leak at a block of flats.

Workers wearing protective suits were forced to seal the hazardous insulating material found in gas meter cupboards at Sebastian Court in Meadow Road, Barking.

A former builder, who did not wish to be named, complained to the Post after seeing the workers shower at a decontamination tent near the block of flats.

But Barking and Dagenham Council insisted the find posed no risk to the public as the asbestos had been isolated rather than removed and stressed that air tests carried out at the council block were all negative.

A spokesman said: “We understand that seeing workers in protective clothing can be alarming. However, it is a legal requirement that anyone who works with asbestos on a regular basis should wear protective clothing. It does not mean there is a dangerous level of asbestos in the atmosphere.

“The team has been cleaning equipment and clothing in a marquee next to Sebastian Court. Again this is a standard legal requirement and poses no health risk to passing members of the public.”

Workers fixed a gas leak at Sebastian Court on October 3. Works to seal the asbestos are expected to be completed at the end of this week.