MORE than 50 people were evacuated from their homes for three hours when a gas pipe was fractured after a car accident.

Police sealed off Millers Lane, Atherton, as gas workers attempted to seal off the supply last night.

The drama began when a car fractured the gas main at 8pm after skidding on an icy patch and leaving the road.

The driver escaped unhurt but heard a hissing noise as gas began to escape from the main, which was underneath his car.

Some residents stayed in their neighbours' homes while others went to the nearby Botanic Gardens pub. They were not allowed back into their houses until 11pm while Transco worked on the pipe.

A Transco spokesman said: "The main was heavily damaged but we had a team on site as quickly as possible and the problem was sorted out within three hours. We will be making further repairs later this week."