Furious Kincaidston dad says family put at risk after gas leaks from newly-installed meter

An Ayr dad claims a botched job put his family at risk from a new gas meter just days after it was installed.

Steven Mclaughlin, 31, was stunned to discover gas was pouring out of the device after calling the emergency helpline from his Kincaidston home.

Engineers from a contractor used by SGN had only visited his address in Thistle Walk the previous week as part of major replacement works on the estate.

Steven, who lives with partner Beth Sargent, 29, and their two-year-old son Steven jnr, opted to have their gas meter placed outside.

The couple, who were rocked by the explosion in nearby Gorse Park in October last year, were desperate to safe-proof their gas supply.

But delivery driver Steven has told how the new meter was falling apart with dangerous gas seeping out from numerous gaps on April 7 after being installed on March 30.

Steven shared a picture of the gas meter which shows screws loose

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And pictures taken by Steven appear to show a loose screw hanging from the newly-installed device.

Steven told Ayrshire Live: “I was raging and the engineer who came out was fuming as well.

“Screws were loose, the pressure test nipple was so loose that when the guy tried to see how tight it was it just fell off.

“Basically everything that was meant to be screwed tight was completely loose. It was a mess.”

The dad-of-one has revealed how the estate could have been seconds away from another disaster after he smelt gas just moments before going to light a cigarette, with his partner and son in the garden.

Steven said: “We had just come home from my gran’s and decided to come in the front door. The gas meter had not long been installed at the front next to the porch, as we walked in I could instantly smell gas.

“I normally have a smoke out at the front but for some reason I decided not to light one. Who knows what could have happened?

Steven questioned the quality of the workmanship as he reflected on what they felt was a botched job carried out.

I added: “When the engineers came, they were only there for 10-15 minutes. They never ran any checks to make sure everything was alright.

Four houses were destroyed in nearby Gorse Park last October
Four houses were destroyed in nearby Gorse Park last October

“They just told us to turn the hot water on to make sure it was working.

“I’ve not had an apology for what’s happened. I think they have absolutely cut corners; to have a gas meter not even installed properly is complete negligence.

“They have put my whole family at risk. After what’s happened here you would think they would take care with everything they do. It’s as if they don’t care because they are not from here.

“That night we felt the full blast, I thought my work van had exploded and it rocked our whole house. All we wanted was for our gas supply to be safe and now this.”

SGN say their engineer identified a leak to one part of the meter and have denied claims the device was falling apart.

An SGN spokesperson said: “We attended a smell of gas report at a property in the Kincaidston estate after a customer called the national gas emergency service on 0800 111 999.

“Our engineer carried out safety checks and found a minor gas leak which was repaired immediately.

“This was an isolated issue but our project team will carry out further safety checks throughout the estate to provide further reassurance to the local community.

“We’d like to remind everyone that if gas is smelt either indoors or outdoors, you must call 0800 111 999 right away.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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