Jersey explosion: Cause of blast at block of flats still unknown nearly one month on

Ten people died in the horrific explosion which took place in St Helier on 10 December Credit: ITV Channel

The cause of an explosion at a block of flats in Jersey remains a mystery nearly a month on, police confirmed today.

Ten people died as a result of the explosion in St Helier on 10 December.

Nine died in the blast and a tenth victim, 73-year-old Kathleen McGuinness, died from her injuries in hospital on Christmas Day.

States of Jersey Police said in a statement that “more intense” forensic excavation work will take place at the site for the next two weeks to try and discover the cause of the explosion.

To date, 332 exhibits have been seized, with 344 lines of inquiry pursued and 88 statements taken during the investigation, the force said.

Detective Superintendent Alison Fossey, head of the criminal investigation department, said: “Over the Christmas and new year period the investigation has gathered pace and there will more activity on the site in the coming days as the Health and Safety Inspectorate and police continue forensic excavations in order to find out the cause of the explosion.

“Structural engineers will be present to make sure the area is as safe as possible for those working there.

“Islanders can be assured that, as we near the one-month anniversary of the disaster, our efforts remain focused on doing the best for the grieving relatives and the displaced residents.

“Family liaison officers are supporting the bereaved families and community police are meeting regularly with the displaced residents.

A card on flowers left near to the scene of the explosion and fire at a block of flats in St Helier, Jersey Credit: Aaron Chown/PA

“Once risk assessments are made this week, the removal of further belongings from Haut du Mont will take place, allowing more comfort and continuity for those displaced. This process will take at least a week or so.

“The continued support from the community towards those affected by this incident has been heart-warming and officers, who will be working on these investigations for many months, have really appreciated it.”

The nine other victims were Peter Bowler, 72, Raymond (Raymie) Brown, 71, Romeu and Louise De Almeida, 67 and 64, Derek and Sylvia Ellis, 61 and 73, Ken and Jane Ralph, 72 and 71, and 63-year-old Billy Marsden.

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