Gas fitter charged over Manchester explosion

Published:  29 February, 2012

A gas fitter is to be prosecuted by the HSE after a gas explosion that damaged hundreds of houses and injured 15 people.

The explosion in Irlam, Manchester, injured 15 people when it occured on 2 November, 2010. Residents from 200 homes had to be re-housed

Investigations carried out in the following days revealed that the explosion had been caused by a suspected faulty gas pipe.

According to the Manchester Evening News, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) is to take legal action against self-employed Paul Kay, following a 15-month investigation into the explosion. He has been charged with failing to ensure a gas fitting was properly supported and protected under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations.

The day before the blast Kay, who lives in Warrington, had carried out work on a gas fitting at the home of Mrs Burns in Merlin Road. Her home was at the epicentre of the blast and she was thrown into the front garden by the impact.

Hill End Plumbing & Heating, of Oldham, hired Kay to carry out the work. It is understood he no longer works for the firm, which has changed its name since the blast. Hill End was a sub-contractor of Bolton-based G&J Seddon, the main contractors used by City West Housing Trust for refitting kitchens on the estate.