A TAUNTON street off the town centre has re-opened after it was closed off and buildings were evacuated earlier today following a gas leak.

The drama unfolded after a vehicle crashed into the York House building, in Canon Street, at shortly after 9am, a Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said.

He added: "There was a strong smell of gas and the police were also informed.

"Everyone was free from the building, but the incoming gas main has been ruptured and gas is leaking."

A 60-metre cordon was set up at both ends of the street and into and out of the public car park.

Wales and West Utilities staff have been requested to attend to repair the gas main.

"We've evacuated the surrounding properties," added the DSFRS spokesman. "We've stemmed the leak using a special paste.

"We're standing by to prevent escalation while Wales and West Utilities cap the leak properly."