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Andover explosion update: Man killed after house collapses named as James Kirkby

Hampshire Police say the body of a man has been found after an explosion caused a building to collapse this morning. Credit: PA

A man who died after a house was reduced to rubble in an overnight explosion has been named as 48-year-old James Kirkby.

His body was found in the debris of the former home in Andover, Hampshire after the 2.30am blast on Thursday.

Evacuated neighbours were still waiting to return to their homes a day later, as investigations continue into the blast on King Arthurs Way.

A number of neighbouring properties were evacuated as a precaution. Credit: PA

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service had sent search and rescue teams to search the scene on Thursday.

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A number of neighbouring properties were then evacuated as a precaution.

A joint investigation by the fire service and Hampshire Constabulary was launched.

A man's body was found in the wreckage of the house. Credit: PA
Gas engineers use a mechanical excavator at the scene of the explosion in Launcelot Close. Credit: PA

Dan Brown, a spokesman for gas distribution company SGN, said: "Following reports of an explosion in Launcelot Close, Andover, our engineers joined the emergency services on site in the early hours of the morning.

"We understand an occupant in the property at the time of the explosion has died and our thoughts are with them and their family.

Credit: Andy Phillips/Facebook

"While it is too early to speculate as to what has happened, we're working closely with the emergency services to help identify the cause. In conjunction with the authorities, we're currently working to isolate gas supplies to property numbers one and two for safety.

"We'll remain on site to support the emergency services to help discover the cause of the explosion."