No mains gas at Jersey flats destroyed in explosion as supplier conducts safety tests

  • Phil Wellbrook reports on the investigation that's been launched following the explosion

A block of flats destroyed in an explosion in Jersey wasn't connected to the mains gas supply, according to the housing provider which owns the site. Jersey's gas supplier, Island Energy, says there have been "no issues detected" with its network. Safety checks have been carried out by engineers since the blast just before 4am on Saturday 10 December.

Five people have died and four others are still missing. Seven of the nine residents have now been identified by Jersey Police.

Emergency responders have spent days searching the site but no survivors have been found so far.

Reading a statement outside the company's La Collette offices, Island Energy's CEO Jo Cox confirmed engineers have been carrying out safety tests on Jersey's gas network.

She said: "Along with my colleagues at Island Energy, I join everyone in Jersey in offering our prayers and thoughts to families who have lost loved ones at this tragic time.

"Island Energy continues to work alongside the emergency services as they continue their recovery operation.

"The company will conduct its own investigation into what happened, as well as helping the various official enquiries."

Island Energy CEO, Jo Cox, gave an update to journalists

Ms Cox added: "Our engineers are safety-testing the island’s gas network, and this will be completed in the next few days.

"No issues have been detected in the survey so far."

It comes after Paul Brown, the island's Chief Fire Officer, confirmed firefighters had been called out to the site at 8:36pm on Friday - just hours before the fatal blast.

It's understood to have been in response to residents reporting the smell of gas.

CCTV footage obtained by ITV News captured the moment of the blast

Andium Homes - which owns the Haut du Mont flats - confirmed in a statement there was no mains gas supply to the block:

"To confirm what Island Energy [has] already said, Andium Homes and our tenants are not consumers of gas at Haut du Mont.

"We have received no reports of leaks or smells of gas the day before the incident or at any other time. Andium Homes has not been carrying out any significant maintenance works at Haut du Mont."

Jersey residents who think they smell gas are being urged to call Island Energy's emergency number on 01534 755555.