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Burger van was not in use when explosion took place at pub

PUBLISHED: 09:14 23 August 2020 | UPDATED: 11:32 23 August 2020

Emergency services were called to the Kings Arms Free House in Stowmarket after an explosion on their premises. Picture: ARCHANT

Emergency services were called to the Kings Arms Free House in Stowmarket after an explosion on their premises. Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

The burger van in which an explosion took place on Saturday night was not in use at the time of the incident, it has emerged.

The pub was not open to customers at the time of the incident Picture: ARCHANTThe pub was not open to customers at the time of the incident Picture: ARCHANT

Emergency services were called to The Kings Arms pub in Station Road in Stowmarket at around 8.30pm last night following reports of an explosion.

Members of the public were asked to avoid the area and trains did not call into the nearby Stowmarket Train Station for some time.

Two people were treated for minor injuries following the incident, with one person being transported to Ipswich Hospital for further care.

The Kings Arms was not open at the time of the explosion as the pub had not re-opened since lockdown, but was due to do so next week.

The roof of the burger van has come away from the rest of the structure Picture: ABI TURPThe roof of the burger van has come away from the rest of the structure Picture: ABI TURP

The pub confirmed on Facebook in the early hours of Sunday morning that one of those injured was a staff member at the pub.

It also confirmed that the other person injured had been hit with broken glass.

“[Elly] is fine after tonight’s explosion, a gas canister exploded in the old burger van in the car park,” said the statement on Facebook.

“A good friend did get quite a lot of glass hit him so he was taken to hospital, wishing him well and a speedy recovery, thanks for all your messages for Elly.”

Emergency services at the scene of the explosion in Station Road, Stowmarket. It is believed a gas canister in a burger van exploded  Picture: Matthew EarthEmergency services at the scene of the explosion in Station Road, Stowmarket. It is believed a gas canister in a burger van exploded Picture: Matthew Earth

Abi Turp, who lives a few hundred metres from the pub was sat watching a boxing match with her boyfriend at the time of the explosion.

“I didn’t realise what it was to start with,” said Miss Turp.

“It shook the building.

“We had a window open and that was pushed back by the force.”

The explosion took place in a burger van at the rear of the property Picture: ARCHANTThe explosion took place in a burger van at the rear of the property Picture: ARCHANT

Miss Turp said that she occasionally feels vibrations in the building from nearby trains put that this was something very different.

Rachel Girling who lives nearby said that she heard a huge bang but saw no fire or smoke.

“I was putting my washing out and heard a very loud bang,” said Ms Girling.

“It sounded as if you were to drop a big metal container from a large height.”

Investigations into the cause of the fire are ongoing Picture: ARCHANTInvestigations into the cause of the fire are ongoing Picture: ARCHANT

Ms Girling said she went upstairs to see if she could see any obvious cause of the noise but could not.

She then heard fire crews arrive a few minutes later.

Stowmarket station commander Will Tel from Suffolk Fire and Rescue said: “When we got to there the explosion had happened and there was no fire.”

Mr Tel said that a gas leak was found at the scene and that crews were mobilised to isolate and turn off the gas.

The burger van where the explosion happened at the back of the pub Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe burger van where the explosion happened at the back of the pub Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Fire investigation teams were called to the scene but the cause of the incident is currently being treated as unexplained.

“It’s helpful that it happened at a later time on a Saturday evening and that the van was not in use at the time,” said Mr Tel.

“If it had happened at a different time it could have been worse.”

Mr Tel said that investigations into the cause of the fire would continue and that fire crews would work with the pub and its insurance company.

The Kings Arms in Stowmarket where the explosion took place on Saturday night Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNThe Kings Arms in Stowmarket where the explosion took place on Saturday night Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The pub had previously been home to local burger makers, Best Burger leading to concerns that staff from the company had been involved in the explosion.

However, the company left the Kings Arms in June and confirmed to patrons on Facebook that no-one associated with its business had been involved.

“Thank you so much to everybody who checked up on us this evening, we are all fine,” read the statement.

“We wish everybody caught up in the events at the Kings Arms this evening a hasty recovery and are delighted and relieved to hear that Ellie [sic] is okay.”

Mr Tel also issued safety advice for those using gas cylinders.

“Make sure they are in a cool and well ventilated space,” said Mr Tel.

“If its not being used make sure it is regularly checked.”

Mr Tel said this was particularly important given the current pandemic.

He also advised business to ensure that premises were secure.

MORE: Two injured after gas canister explodes at burger van near Stowmarket station


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