A gas explosion caused by the Poynters Road improvement work injured two people and “threw a man across the street” on Monday, witnesses claim.
Fire crews from Dunstable set up a 33-metre exclusion zone around the location of the blast, which happened at about 11.15am, approximately 200 metres from the Halfway House pub restaurant.
Two men were treated by paramedics at the scene, but escaped with slight injuries.
A witness said: “We were about four houses away when it happened. I jumped out of my skin – it sounded like a crane had dropped something from a great height.
“A piece of machinery was thrown into the air and a man was flung onto the other side of the road.
“They shut the street off and made us stay in our houses for about four hours.”
National Grid employees attended and conducted repair work on the gas leak until 9pm.
A spokesman said: “One of the workmen hit our gas pipe and caused the explosion.
“This is not a regular occurrence, although this kind of thing does happen.”
The ambulance service confirmed that two casualties were treated for minor injuries at the scene, then taken to Luton & Dunstable Hospital before being released.
Poynters Road is currently undergoing resurfacing improvements, which are expected to take 11 weeks.
The road is closed to motorists – except for access – 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the duration of the work.
A Central Beds Council spokesman said that a contractor from Eurovia was working on a redundant gas pipe when he struck “residual” gas. He denied that a workman was thrown across the street by the blast.
Police were also called as a precautionary measure, but left at about 2pm and are not treating the incident as suspicious.
A workman on the site told the Gazette yesterday that the area had been secured and roadworks were continuing as normal.