A County Durham service station on the A1(M) was forced to be evacuated over the weekend as emergency services attended the scene and people were told to stay away. 

At around 12.30pm on Sunday (December 3), police, fire service and ambulances were called to Newton Aycliffe service station near junction 59 of the A1(M), following reports of a gas pipe break. 

Police sealed off the service station, including the petrol station and McDonald's to allow specialist fire service crews to deal with the scene. 

The ambulance service was put on standby during the incident, which also saw specialist gas board employees attend to help and identify the problem.

County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service has now confirmed some details about the incident - saying that the incident involved a burst gas main that was fixed by engineers on the scene. 

Motorists were prevented from going into the service station areas for several hours while gas engineers could determine whether it was safe to use again.

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A spokesperson from the fire service said: “Shortly after 12.30pm on Sunday (December 3), we were alerted to a potential burst gas pipe near the A1, Newton Aycliffe.

“On arrival, specialist firefighters observed that a low-pressure gas pipe had burst.

“Working together with other emergency services, firefighters assisted in evacuating the area until the gas had fully vented and the gas board and gas engineers had assessed the area fully.”

The gas board, Durham Police and North East Ambulance Service have been contacted for a comment.