March 12 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, February 6, 2014
The owners of the house destroyed in a suspected gas explosion in Clacton yesterday are reported to be in a stable condition.
The couple, named locally as David and Hela Davies, were transported to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford with serious burns after the blast in Cloes Lane shortly before 8.30am on Wednesday.
A spokesman for Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust said they are being treated in the St Andrew’s burns centre and described their condition as “stable”.
Eight other people were taken to Colchester Hospital following the blast and seven were discharged yesterday evening. The casualty who was kept overnight was allowed home this afternoon.
Police were today continuing their investigation into the cause of the explosion that flattened one semi-detached house, left only half of the adjoining property standing and badly damaged a third house nearby.
A police spokesman said the damaged houses had been fenced off and officers will continue to sift through the rubble to see if they can find anything suspicious.
They were being aided by Rose Builders, from Mistley, who are helping to move the debris by machine.
Workers from the firm were also at the scene last night to make the half-destroyed property safe.
“Because the majority of the property had been destroyed, what was left standing was unstable,” said company director Phil Wade.
“We removed the roof and the first floor but had to be careful because there is still a forensic investigation going on.”
Yesterday, Rose Builders also supervised the clearing up of debris on Cloes Lane and surrounding streets that had been thrown from the blast.
Police lifted a street cordon at around 7pm.
A spokesman for the police said if nothing suspicious is found, the investigation will be handed over to the Essex Fire and Rescue Service.
Inspectors from the National Grid and gas specialists from the Health and Safety Executive were also at the scene today.
A spokesman for the National Grid said: “National Grid have carried out further investigations on the gas mains and service pipes to the affected properties. These investigations have found the gas mains to be sound and no gas escaping from the pipes.”
Tendring District Council said one man made homeless by the explosion had been put up in a local hotel overnight.
The man asked the council for assistance as the property he was living in with relatives in Cloes Lane was one of those badly damaged and he was unable to return home.
He stayed in the hotel overnight and will be joined by the other members of his family over the weekend.
The council’s communications manager, Nigel Brown, said: “Only the one family has asked for accommodation to be arranged for them at this stage and they will be at the hotel in the short term,” he said.
“Obviously they have no possessions or any change of clothes and having visited them today we have put them in touch with a donation bank which has been set up in Clacton to help the victims.
“As we understand it, clothes are due to be delivered to them today.”
Mr Brown said the council’s housing options co-ordinator is due to meet with the family again on Monday once they have had time to think about what they want to do next.
“At that point we will discuss the way forward and help them with suitable accommodation for the longer term,” he added.