Gas terror in Holloway as copper thieves saw through pipe

A DISABLED woman was taken to hospital suffering gas inhalation after copper thieves sawed through one of her flat’s pipes in the middle of the night.

The woman in her 40s woke to the terrifying sight of a man outside her front door hacking away at a copper pipe on the wall.

Copper thieves have targeted the Hyde Village Estate, off Hungerford Road, Holloway, a number of times in recent weeks – and the latest incident has increased fears they could cause a gas explosion.

The woman, who is too frightened to be named, said; “I was woken up at 4.15am by a scratching noise. I thought it might have been a squirrel in the flue pipe or something but I got up to have a look because we have had a few break-ins in our garages recently.

“I opened the front door and right in front of me leaning over the railings was a man sawing away at the pipe above the door.

“I screamed and he legged it, but the pipe was swinging out from the wall.

“I ran inside and rang 999 but the whole flat was filling up with gas so I went back out in the freezing cold to wait for the fire brigade and ambulance.

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“It’s terrifying because there are a lot of elderly and disabled people living on this estate.

“But even if you’re not elderly or disabled the gas could have blown you to kingdom come.”

The area was made safe and the woman was taken to University College Hospital in Euston for treatment.

Police are now hunting a white man aged between 18 and 30 who ran off into the estate.

Lawrence Kerr, housing services manager at Hyde Northside, the housing association which runs Hyde Village, said: “We are working closely with the Safer Neighbourhoods Team to ensure that they are looking out for this when patrolling Hyde Village.”

Anyone concerned about thefts of copper piping in the area they should call the Holloway SNT on 020 7421 0362 or call 999 if it is an emergency.