Man arrested over explosion at block of flats in Skelmersdale

Explosion blew flats apart Credit: Liverpool Echo

Lancashire Police have arrested a man after an explosion ripped through a block of flats in Skemlersdale.

It happened in Tanfields on Tuesday 17 May. Five people managed to get out of the building before emergency services arrived.

Police say after extensive enquiries a 29-year-old man from Darlington has been arrested on suspicion of production of a class B drug and causing an explosive substance likely to endanger life or cause serious injury.

Detectives also say they want to speak to 40-year-old Robert Nolan, from Skelmersdale, as part of their enquiries.

He is described as white, around 5ft 8ins tall, of slim build and speaking with a Liverpool accent.

Police want to speak to Robert Nolan in connection with the explosion Credit: Lancashire Police

DC Sean Reddington, of South CID, said: “This incident has caused significant damage to the properties and left a number of people displaced.

“Our investigation is very much ongoing to establish the cause of the explosion and we would ask people to check any footage they may have covering the area to see if they have captured anything which could assist us in our enquiries.

“Although we are keeping an open mind as to what caused the explosion we have made an arrest. We now need to speak to Robert Nolan as we believe he can assist us with our enquiries.

"We would ask anybody who sees him or knows where he is to contact police as soon as possible.”

Emergency services at the scene in Skelmersdale Credit: MEN Media

Can you help?

Lancashire Police are asking for anybody who saw anything suspicious earlier in the day of the incident or in the period directly after the explosion to contact them. They also want to hear from anybody who saw any suspicious vehicles in the area in the days before the explosion and are asking people to check CCTV, dashcam or doorbell footage to see if they have captured anything which could help.

To uploaded footage click here.

Anyone with information is asked to email 2340@lancashire.police.uk or call 101, quoting log 1311 or 17 May 2022.