1. ITV Report

Inquest into Boston brewing explosion

Fatal explosion at illegal distillery in Boston Photo: Calendar

It was in July last year when five men were killed and another seriously injured in a huge explosion at an illegal vodka making plant on a Boston industrial estate.

The men, Erlandas Duzinskas 28, Vaidas Krupenkinas 39, Laimutis Simkus 32, Ovidijus Mejeris 26 and Ricardas Gecas 24 , all Lithuanians, died instantly after the fireball ripped through the Broadfield Lane industrial estate.

The only survivor the blast was rushed to Boston Pilgrim Hospital before he was transferred to the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham where he remained for several months.

Witnesses up to five miles away reported hearing the massive blast, which they said sounded like “the world was coming to an end”.

Residents claimed the men, who were all migrant workers, had been involved in the illegal alcohol brewing operation.

One of the men was seen fleeing on fire from the unit, measuring about 30ft by 15ft, less than 600 feet from neighbouring allotments and a block of flats.

Fire officials said the ferocity of the fire was " so intense " that steel shutters on the industrial unit warped and roller shutters buckled.

Four months before the tragic explosion, dangerous counterfeit vodka with the potential to blind those who drink it was discovered in Boston during a the first ever operation to crackdown on the illicit tobacco and alcohol trade.

In March, coordinated raids, the first of their kind in Britain, were carried out by officers from Customs who seized 88 litres of illegal alcohol from six stores after carrying out busts across the town.

Boston has one of the country’s largest populations of migrant workers with up to a quarter of the town’s 30,000 population believed to be from Russia, Eastern Europe and Portugal.