A year before family can return home after Andover gas explosion

  • Watch Mary Stanley's report below

It will be a year before a family forced to leave their home in Andover following a gas explosion can return.

Peter and Amanda Cooper say it's been the toughest six weeks of their lives after their house was evacuated on Launcelot Close on December 27th.

A house at the end of a block of eight in King Arthur's Way collapsed following a gas explosion at around 2.30am.

The house next door was badly damaged.

The third house along, belonging to the Cooper's, remained in place but cracks and holes in the walls still show the impact of the explosion.

A number of homes were evacuated at the time and crews from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and Hampshire Constabulary were on scene.

The body of 48-year-old James Kirkby was found in the rubble following the explosion.

The family bought their house in Launcelot Close 8 years ago (pictured with scaffolding)

Amanda and Peter, along with their two sons and two daughters, were living in a nearby hotel for five weeks.

The family say they've lost income, having to take time off to deal with their insurance company and builders.

The Cooper family

They have now been moved into temporary accommodation in Enham, briefly returning home to collect their belongings.

The family have been told it could take up to a year before they can fully return.

Large holes are still visible in the Cooper household following the explosion two doors along
The family have been told it could take a year for them to return home

The death of James Kirkby is not being treated as suspicious and an inquest will be held on 18th June.