A major operation to restore gas supplies to 6,000 homes is now underway.
The National Grid has drafted in engineers from across the country to tackle the incident which struck properties in Ampthill, Clophill and Maulden yesterday, after builders damaged a gas main.
Gas must be turned off at the meter of every property before gas can be pumped back into the gas network and supplies restored.
The National Grid has visited over 3,100 properties to turn off gas supplies. Of those, nearly 2,600 are off gas. However, engineers have not been able to yet get access to a further 400 properties.
A National Grid spokesman said: “Please arrange for someone to be at home so we can switch you off. The sooner we are able to switch everybody off the sooner we can restore supplies. Engineers will continue to visit homes until 11pm today (Wednesday, November 16).
“If people need to leave their homes we are asking them to please let us know so we can make arrangements with them regarding access to their properties.
“Once the repair has been made and gas is back in the mains, a second visit will be made to turn on the supply to each property and make sure it is flowing safely.”
They added: “People are reminded that they should ask our staff to show them official identification before they let them in their property. All out staff carry official identity cards, for more information and to verify an engineer’s identity call 0845 835 1111.
“The National Grid is working with the police, Central Bedfordshire Council the NHS and other organisations to ensure elderly and vulnerable residents are being identified and cared for.
“An incident room has been set up in Maulden Village Hall where people can find out more information. The incident room will be open throughout the night. Advice centres have also been set up by Central Bedfordshire Council. They are at Beverley Court in Clophill, MK45 4AY, open from 8am to 9pm, and Ampthill Day Centre, Houghton Close, MK45 2TG, open from 8.30am to 9pm.
“People can also contact our enquiries team on 0845 835 1111. And if you know of an elderly or vulnerable resident, please contact our enquiries team or visit Maulden Village Hall so we can help them.”
Electricity distribution company UK Power Networks are asking residents to avoid using their electric heaters continuously while their gas is off in order to help prevent the local electricity network from becoming overloaded.
They are also advising people to keep warm by staying in one room where possible and are also urging them to keep an eye on elderly or ill people living nearby and to try and make sure these people have some hot food and drink.
Every effort is being made to restore gas supplies as soon as possible. However, it is expected that work will go on into the weekend.
If you smell gas or have a problem with your gas supplies call the Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999.