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  1. ITV Report

Homes torn down after fatal gas explosion

The scene after the houses were torn down Photo: BPM Media

Two houses that were in the centre of a fatal gas explosion in Birstall in December have now been torn down.

One of the properties on Allington Drive, Birstall collapsed and another was completely destroyed after the explosion on Monday (11 December), which killed 79-year-old Janet Jasper.

The scene after the explosion in December. Credit: ITV News Central

Flowers and tributes have been laid where the houses once stood.

Around 50 other houses on the road were also damaged and many residents forced to leave their homes over Christmas, with some being told they won't be able to return for months.

Tributes have been laid at the place where the houses once stood. Credit: BPM Media

A relative of a nearby resident who has had to abandon their bungalow said: "It’s just a nightmare. It’s just a big mess."

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service has ruled that the explosion was accidental and concluded that there would be no criminal investigation.

The cause has been categorised as accidental and the seat of the explosion has now been identified. The explosion is attributed to a catastrophic failure of an internal gas pipe joint, in the floor of the property, and the escaping gas being ignited by a cooker spark generator switch.

A forensic investigation is now underway by the Health and Safety Executive to identify what caused the failure of the internal gas pipe.

– Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service