Investigators confirm no mains gas supply at Bedford block of flats destroyed in explosion and fire

Police: Entering a protracted stage of the investigation at a very complex scene
Police: Entering a protracted stage of the investigation at a very complex scene

Police say investigations at the scene of the flat explosion in Bedford could take 'several weeks'.

The cause of the explosion and fire which destroyed the three storey bock of flats in Redwood Grove and damaged an adjacent block is still to be determined.

The explosion took place at just after 9am yesterday, leaving one person confirmed dead and two others were taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Police have not ruled out finding more bodies.

The blocks in Redwood Grove which were destroyed Credit: Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

Chief Superintendent John Murphy said: “We still do not know the cause of the explosion. 

"A number of lines of enquiry are taking place to help us establish that, and we are working closely with our colleagues from the fire service as part of our investigation.

“We are now entering a protracted stage of the investigation at a very complex scene where we will be conducting our enquiries as diligently and professionally as we can.

“It may take a significant amount of time before we can begin to search at the affected site, given the damage that has been caused and the risks that presents to our teams.

Therefore, at this stage we cannot rule out the possibility of further fatalities being discovered."

He added that the investigation team and safety experts were working as fast as possible to allow people to return to homes not damaged in the blast.

Trevor Gradwell Smith, operational assurance manager at Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said it was too soon to make any conclusions as to the cause of the explosion

He said: "It has been confirmed there are no main gas supplies to the premises.

“We are working very closely and remain on the scene with Bedfordshire Police and other partner agencies such as the Urban Search and Rescue Team who are supporting us to reinforce the structural stability of the building."