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Tuesday, 07 July 2015

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Roads around Barrow gas explosion home to be closed for at least three weeks

ROADS around a Barrow home ripped apart by a gas explosion are due to be closed for at least three weeks.

The house, on the corner of Ainslie Street and Oxford Street, has been declared structurally unsafe and is believed to be at risk of collapse.

Road closures on part of Ainslie Street and Oxford Street are due to remain for at least three weeks and Cumbria County Council has said diversions are in place.

A gas leak is suspected to have caused the explosion at the home of Anne Hall, 92 last Wednesday.

Mrs Hall was upstairs in the bathroom and was unharmed, but very shocked, by the incident.

Kevan Morrison, building control manager at Barrow Borough Council, said the house has been made safe and the owner’s insurance company will now be looking at the property to establish what repair or rebuilding is needed. Mr Morrison said it appears that some demolition will be needed to the back of the house.

Cumbria Highways has road closures in place blocking off access to the bottom of Oxford Street and a section of Ainslie Street.

National Grid inspected the gas mains and no faults were found. A spokeswoman said the fault was likely to be with an appliance or connection inside the house.

Yesterday the fire service said  a replacement cooker had been installed recently. Bob Nixon, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service’s head of community risk management, said: “The Fire and Rescue Service was called to reports of an explosion at Ainslie Street Barrow. On arriving at the scene there was severe damage to a terraced property. A small fire which was external to the building was extinguished by fire crews.

“The occupier, who was in the property at the time, escaped with minor injuries. A full search of the property was carried out by crews, who isolated the main gas valve and confirmed that there was no one left inside. A structural engineer has been requested to assess the property.

“An investigation into the cause is underway, however it is thought to have resulted from a gas leak within the property. It is believed that a replacement cooker had been installed recently within the property and the occupier had noticed an unfamiliar smell. We cannot confirm that the appliance was the cause at this time however, we are reminding people to ensure that all gas appliance are installed and checked regularly by registered installers and to make themselves aware of the procedures if they do believed there is a gas leak.”

Barrow police had said: “Ainslie Street in Barrow-in-Furness remains closed while agencies deal with an incident.

“At 7.56 am on Wednesday a wall of a property on Ainslie Street collapsed. It is believed that a gas leak lead to an isolated explosion at the property.

“The occupant of the house is safe and well and has been seen by paramedics at the scene for minor injuries.

“Local agencies are assessing the structural damage and are working to make the area safe and secure. It is not known how long the area will remain closed.”

At the scene yesterday Inspector Dave Stalker from Barrow police said: "We're in the very early stages and there was one occupant believed to have been in the premises.

"Obviously it's an explosion that's affected the integrity of the rear of the house.

"We are waiting for confirmation that it's as a result of gas on the property."

Neighbours at the scene say the explosion felt like 'a bomb had gone off'.

Have your say

Well, it's now August 8th, and traffic is still diverted, repairs not done and etc.... why is it that in other countries problems and small disasters like this can be sorted in a matter of days, whilst in Barrow, workers have to make a meal of it and inconvenience hundreds of people for weeks and months on end?
In Japan, workers built a 5 story hotel in a mere 24 hours; in America 4 metre deep street sink holes are sorted in three days. But Barrow, no, everything takes ages and costs the earth.

Posted by Sally on 8 August 2013 at 11:59

Can someone tell me when this road is going to open again?
the two narrow side streets acting as Diversions along Lancaster St are a bloody nightmare.

Posted by Oxford street resident on 2 July 2013 at 15:53

View all 16 comments on this article

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