DUBAI // Parking access to the Burj Khalifa and sections of the Dubai Mall were closed for a few hours this morning after cooking gas leaked through a hole in a pipeline outside.
A section of Emaar Boulevard - next to the mall's fashion parking entrance - was cordoned off as police and fire engines emptied the gas from its storage plant and tried to fix the pipeline. "We have turned off the gas supply," said an official from the mall.
Today, a pungent smell lingered in the vicinity.
The leak was caused by a hole in one of the pipelines connected to the cooking gas storage, according to a spokesman for the Dubai Civil Defence.
"We received the report at 9.14am and we dispatched a team from the Manara and Al Safa fire stations respectively," the spokesman said.
The situation was brought under control an hour later, but it took authorities at least another two hours to finish maintenance work on the pipelines.
This included transferring stored cooking gas into tankers.
"To carry out welding work on the pipelines, the gas needed to be emptied," the spokesman said.He added that the mall car parks were evacuated and cordoned off as a precaution.
"The parked cars were evacuated as they contained highly flammable materials, which are a hazard during welding," he said.
Emaar, which operates the mall, said the incident did not take place inside the shopping areas.
"The gas leak was reported in the vicinity and, as a precautionary measure and part of our commitment to the highest safety standards, we worked with the concerned authorities to divert traffic and pedestrians," a mall spokesman said. "The authorities are investigating the incident."
It was the second gas leak involving the mall in less than two months. Visitors and staff from the Reel Cinemas wing were told to leave in March after children emptied helium gas from balloons into the cinema area, leaving guests complaining of nausea and coughing.