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Clacton: “We heard this almighty bang and literally everything in the house shook” – eyewitnesses’ accounts after explosion

21:57 05 February 2014

Firefighters in action in Cloes Lane, Clacton - photo courtesy of Essex Fire and Rescue Service

Firefighters in action in Cloes Lane, Clacton - photo courtesy of Essex Fire and Rescue Service

Graham S Dean Photography

Eyewitnesses have shared their accounts of what happened in the moments after a suspected gas explosion in Clacton.

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Ryan Platt, who lives opposite the property in Cloes Lane destroyed by yesterday’s suspected gas explosion, said the impact of the blast shook his entire house.

“We were sat in the lounge when we heard this unbelievably loud bang. I thought ‘what the hell was that?’ It was like a bomb going off,” he said.

“We went outside and everyone was coming out of their houses to see what was going on. It was a big shock to everyone.”

Doreen Baker, of Deben Avenue, lives just behind the property ripped apart by the blaze.

“The bang shook the whole house,” she said, explaining only minor damage was sustained to her roof.

“Everyone was running outside and I got my broom out of the garage to help sweep away the debris and tried to help as much as I could because I was very concerned.” Resident Stuart Coe added: “We were sitting there having breakfast and the next thing we heard this almighty bang and literally everything shook in the house – the conservatory shook, it felt like the roof was shaking.

“Obviously, the kids were upset and crying, we didn’t know what was going on. It’s like a bomb going off. It was a pretty nasty event.”

Grace Cooke, 21, who lives nearby, said: “I am overwhelmed by it all. I couldn’t believe it. There were loads of emergency service vehicles. I hope there are no serious injuries.”

Cloes Lane resident Gwen Mitchell, 70, who lives about 30 yards from the blast scene and is a Conservative councillor at Tendring District Council, said: “It’s about 12 to 14 houses up the road from me on the opposite side to me. There was a very strong acidic, smoky smell in the air.

“My heart has been doing flips ever since I heard the news. You don’t expect this to happen so close to your own home.

“I thank God that it’s not me involved and I dearly hope that no-one is badly injured. There is insulation being blown up the road, which I presume has come from the house, and we have had people from the gas and electricity boards here.”

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