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Ipswich: Man in critical but stable condition after Chantry explosion

PUBLISHED: 17:48 19 December 2011

A BLAST that ripped through an Ipswich flat left one man with serious burns and another homeless.

The explosion rocked the parade of shops at Ellenbrook Green, Chantry, that sits beneath the flat.

Police initially arrested a man on suspicion of arson but he was released without charge after fire officers put the cause down to a redundant back boiler.

One man, who was in the flat at the time of the blast, at around 10pm on Friday, suffered serious injuries. He was later taken to a specialist burns unit at Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, where he is described as being in a critical but stable condition.

The flat’s other tenant – believed to be in his late 30s – was left homeless and spent Friday night at the Belstead Arms pub nearby.

Kevin Watkins, the pub’s landlord, said: “We were sitting upstairs in the pub and we heard a loud explosion. We looked out of the window and there was smoke coming out of the windows.

“I ran over and got a ladder and climbed in but by this time the fire engine and paramedics were here.

“It was black, the place was
devastated. There was a young lad who was severely burned, it was heart-breaking to see him.”

James Calver, 35, who works at the fish and chip shop at Ellenbrook Green, was serving when the blast hit.

He said: “All of a sudden I felt the ground shake, I thought ‘what the heck is that?’. I was wondering if it was a little earthquake tremor.”

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service said it had put the blaze down to a redundant back boiler in the living room.

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