SEVERAL roads in Loftus were closed for more than 10 hours on Monday night after petrol fumes caused an explosion in a sewer line.
Inspector Barrie Bourchier of Sutherland police said the BP service station in Loftus Avenue was closed and a 500-metre exclusion zone was in place in National Avenue after a sewer pipe cover blew off about 4pm. The cover blew following a build-up of fuel and vapours.
Fire and Rescue NSW hazmat crews spent most of the night assessing the leak and taking air samples near homes, while the sewerage lines were pumped out by Sydney Water.
The road closures made it difficult for residents to get in and out of the area and commuters on bus routes 991 and 993 were also affected during peak hour.
Roads reopened at 2am Tuesday, except for the laneway behind the petrol station.
"Hazmat has declared the area safe," Inspector Bourchier said.
The owners of the BP service station are working with Sutherland Shire Council, Sydney Water and the NSW Environment Protection Authority to prevent any further problems with the sewerage system.
Sutherland Shire mayor Kent Johns said public safety and protection of the local environment were the council's priority.
"Council is working with the agencies involved to ensure that it is safe for the community and that any impact on the environment is minimised," he said.
Were you caught up in the street closures?