Son's relief at bungalow blast
A SON has spoken of his relief after his father survived a massive gas explosion which ripped through his home and destroyed it.The blast at the one-bedroom council-owned bungalow in Church Street, Bocking near Braintree, happened at about 4.
A SON has spoken of his relief after his father survived a massive gas explosion which ripped through his home and destroyed it.
The blast at the one-bedroom council-owned bungalow in Church Street, Bocking near Braintree, happened at about 4.30am yesterday. Brian Parker was rescued from the rubble in his kitchen by two passers who have not been identified.
The retired 55-year-old electrician was rushed to a next-door house with burns to his face and hands while he waited for emergency services, but his injuries were not thought to be life threatening.
An adjoining property was also evacuated due to risk of collapse and last night, investigations into the cause of the blast were still being carried out by Transco and the Health and Safety Executive.
Mr Parker's son, Matthew, 28, of Crown Meadow, Braintree, said: “I am just happy that he is alive considering what has happened and I would like to say thank you to the passers by for what they did.
“He is probably going to be in hospital until later on this week and then he will be staying with me for a while.”
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“We were not here at the scene, but were phoned and told of the news which was obliviously quite a shock.”
Alice Marshall, who lives next-door to Mr Parker, said she was woken by what she thought was a storm.
The 90-year-old said: “I heard a terrific bang at about 4.30am as if there had been a massive clap of thunder. Thank God the blast went in the other direction from my house otherwise I would not be here now.
“The people who rescued him brought him into my house - his head and hands were red although he was talking when he got here, but then I think he started going into shock.
“He is a very pleasant man and we get on well when I occasionally see him.”
Annie Ralph, chief executive of Braintree District Council, which owns the property, said an inquiry was under way.
“First of all, we would like to send our best wishes to Mr Parker and all those who have been affected by what has happened.
“We are co-operating with all the emergency services and waiting for the recommendations of their report and investigation. We will be using all the help and support we can,” she said.
She added the council did everything required of it for health and safety although could not comment any further until the inquiries had been completed.
The council said later that the residents of the adjoining property which was evacuated are now staying with relatives until alternative accommodation is found by the council.
A spokeswoman for Transco said an investigation was ongoing.
“Our investigation showed that the pipe works are fine and there had not been a gas leak from those - it is really an investigation for the Health and Safety Executive now,” she said.