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Clacton: Contractors on look out for asbestos as they clear site of gas explosion

16:11 17 March 2014

Items left after the explosion

Items left after the explosion

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Contractors today began work at the site of two homes destroyed by a gas explosion in Clacton.

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The blast in February left 10 people injured, two of them seriously - a third house was badly damaged.

Contractors started the work of removing debris at the properties in Cloes Lane and salvaging any items so that the families can decide what they want to keep.

The operation is likely to take several days to complete and the length of time will depend on whether any asbestos is discovered.

Tendring District Council is organising the work with the permission of the families.

Nigel Brown from the council said that work began early in the morning.

“Contractors are tackling the large amount of debris, keeping a very careful check for any asbestos,” he said.

“If any is found then we will need to call in specialist contractors which will inevitably cause a delay.

“The team on site will sort out any retrievable items which will be put to one side so that the people who lived in the two houses can come and go through them.”

Both families have since been rehomed and it is not known at this stage whether they will want to return to Cloes Lane once the properties have been rebuilt.

One elderly man is in sheltered accommodation while his son and son’s wife are in a private rented house in the Tendring area.

The Council provided a cash deposit for the other couple to go into a private rented property in Clacton once they were allowed out of hospital.

TDC had a tenant in a house next to the site of the two destroyed properties and she has now returned home. The Council is currently having a number of new doors and windows made to replace those that were damaged in the blast.

“No one else whose property was damaged has asked the Council for assistance with finding accommodation and either went to stay with families or friends or made arrangements with their insurers until their homes were liveable,” added Mr Brown.

The cause of the explosion continues to be investigated by the Health and Safety Executive.

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