FIREFIGHTERS are investigating a gas leak in the town centre.

Two shops have been evacuated in Long Wyre Street.

We will keep you updated.

UPDATE 10.53AM: The fire service has now said four shops have been evacuated. 

They said: "Firefighters were called to the scene of a gas leak in Colchester town centre this morning.

"On arrival, crews reported that a fuseboard in a shop was smoking and immediately evacuated the premises, as well as three other adjacent stores, as a precaution.

"Firefighters have set up a cordon while the area is made safe by the gas board. Please avoid the area."


Two fire crews from Colchester are at the scene. The incident happened at about 10am. 


UPDATE 11.56AM: Police and UK Power Networks are on scene to assist. Three Wise Monkeys, Jacks and The Entertainer are all cordoned off all the way to Hawkin's Bazaar. Firefighters left the scene in the hands of the electricity board at 11.56am, after using thermal imaging cameras to ensure that were no hotspots in the area that could pose a risk.​

UPDATE 1.17PM: 10 shops in Long Wyre Street have been closed until further notice due to a loss of power. They include Poundland, The Works, Hawkin's Bazaar, William Hill, Card Factory, British Heart Foundation, Greggs, Christos Grill, Cashino and The Escape Room. 

UK Power Networks said: "UK Power Networks engineers are working as quickly and as safely as possible to restore power supplies to 15 customers in Long Wyre Street, Colchester, following a fault on a piece of electrical equipment at 9.45am today. We understand how difficult it is to be without power and apologise for any inconvenience caused."