Police called to investigate gas leak find massive cannabis factory
Shocked police called to investigate gas leak in two-storey semi are stunned to find massive cannabis factory hidden inside
- Police discovered a cannabis factory after forcing entry to a house leaking gas
- House on Somali Road, West Hampstead, London, was full of cannabis plants
- An ‘illegal electricity cable had caused an explosion that damaged a gas pipe’
Police discovered a cannabis factory at a house in a wealthy London suburb after emergency workers raced to deal with a gas leak.
Residents in Somali Road in West Hampstead, London, woke to a strong smell of gas coming from a two storey semi-detached house and when police tried to force entry they found the occupants had fled, leaving the front door bolted from the inside.
Police sources revealed that once they gained access, they discovered every room crammed with cannabis plants being cultivated under powerful ultra-violet heating lamps.
‘An illegal electricity cable had been wired into the house from the mains and so much power was being used there was an explosion in a junction box which damaged a gas pipe,’ a source told MailOnline.
‘This could have caused a huge explosion. The consequences don’t bear thinking about.’
As emergency workers cut off the gas and electricity supply, Met police squad cars sealed off both ends of the street and a search, aided by a helicopter hovering overhead, was launched in a bid to snare the criminal gang, who had been renting the house for several months.
One neighbour said: ‘ The occupants always used a side alley to get to the back door of the house so they could keep the front door bolted at all times.
Police officers are seen at the door of a house on Somali Road in West Hampstead, London, as two gas engineers stand nearby
Neighbours and passersby stopped to film as the scene unfolded and police discovered that every room of the house was filled with cannabis plants
‘The police called in a locksmith who drilled out the locks. Once inside, they couldn’t believe what they found – literally every room, including the attic, was filled with cannbis plants in various stages of production. Once the smell of gas started to recede in the street it was overtaken by the overpowering smell of weed.
‘At one stage police were considering evacuating the street in case of explosion but the National Grid dug through the pavement and rapidly sealed off the gas supply.’
Forensic teams were today combing through the abandoned cannabis factory searching for evidence while officers guarded the front door.
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