Clarendon Street, South Melbourne, between Bank and Dorcas streets is currently closed in both directions due to a serious gas leak.

Local business have been evacuated, and the road is closed to cars, trams and pedestrians. VicRoads is directing drivers to use Ferrars Street or Kings Way to avoid the closure.

Emergency services were called to the area after a worker hit a gas main while digging around 11am. The Melbourne Fire Brigade is advising the public to avoid the area as its specialist HAZMAT team monitors gas levels.

MFB said in a statement that the closure may continue for a number of hours.

For updates, follow MFB and Vic Traffic on Twitter.