Explosion in Newark kills two and leaves four injured

Published:  20 May, 2013

Police are investigating the possibility that DIY may have been the cause of an explosion at a terraced house in Newark which killed two people and injured four others.

The body of a man was discovered just after midnight following the blast on Sunday, shortly before 5.15pm, while attempts to recover the body of a woman found this morning are expected to take place later today.

Fire crews found the bodies during an ongoing search of the rubble after the house in Wright Street collapsed.

Two children and a woman were taken to Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre for treatment of smoke inhalation and have since been discharged. One man sustained serious injuries and smoke inhalation and remains in hospital.

Neighbours and passers by helped with the rescue effort, dragging one man from the debris before fire fighters arrived on the scene.

Isla McDonald, who lives opposite the damaged house, told the BBC: "We saw this smoke. A man was crawling through the debris and he was bleeding. The whole house had come down.

"We got him out and carried him up the path away from the smoke. The whole of the house was on fire this side. It was so frightening.”

Cormac Fleming and his family were walking their dog when the house exploded.

"The sheer force of the blast knocked my son off his bike,” he told the BBC. “One house was completely destroyed and the house next to it was half-blown up.

"I then noticed a curtain moving in the house next door. I, and another man, smashed the window and next thing I was being handed a newborn baby."

He said a five-year-old and his mother, who was cut and in shock, followed the baby out. They were led away from the rubble before Fleming returned to the house to try and help.

"We tried to see if anyone was in it from the back but it soon caught fire, so we pulled back and waited for the fire service to arrive."

More than 100 people were evacuated from their nearby homes and a rest centre has been set up at the nearby Grove Leisure Centre.

Police said they were keeping an open mind about the cause of the blast and forensic investigations were underway, but were looking at the possibility that it was caused by a family member doing DIY in the home.

A controlled demolition will also be carried out as the property is not considered safe, and a number of roads are closed off in the immediate vicinity.

 

 

 

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