Swansea explosion: 68-year-old man dies and three injured after suspected gas blast in Morriston

  • Dean Thomas-Welch reports from the scene on Tuesday evening

A 68-year-old man who died after a large explosion in Swansea which totally destroyed a house has been named as Brian Davies.

Both the police and fire service declared a major incident following the suspected gas explosion at a home in Morriston at around 11.20am on Monday 13 March.

One house was completely destroyed and several others severely damaged in the blast. Mr Davies, had previously been unaccounted for, but his family have now been informed, police say.

Formal identification took place on Tuesday afternoon and his family are being supported by specially trained officers, police added.

One person remains in hospital while two others, including a child, have been discharged following the explosion at the junction of Field Close and Clydach Road.

One man has been confirmed dead and another person remains in hospital in a "stable condition" following the explosion Credit: Media Wales

Officers confirmed two properties had been "extensively damaged", with more than 200 residents from surrounding houses evacuated.

Pictures from the scene show how one property has completely collapsed.

Gas supplies have been capped in the area whilst engineers work to ensure the scene is safe.

In a statement on Tuesday, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said it is working to reduce the cordon size so some residents can return to their homes.

A rest centre has been set up by the council at a local football club to support those affected in the area.

  • Video from the scene shows emergency services rushing to the collapsed property:

People have been paying tribute to Mr Davies who died in the suspected gas blast.

One resident said "He was a lovely bloke, always got time for you always had a chat as we went past. He was a good neighbour - he spent a lot of time with his wife. Everyone will be sad".

Several posts on social media reported hearing a loud bang in the area up to four miles away at the time of the explosion on Monday.

Another local resident told ITV News that his whole house shook, describing it as "one heck of an explosion."

"There was smoke everywhere, toilet paper flying around the place, still down there stuck to the houses and I went down there and there's no house there, it's flat.

"There was a postal van in the lane, that was covered, luckily the postman wasn't in it, he was injured but he was further down and I've never experienced anything like that, nothing at all."

  • Richard Morgan was live at Morriston Memorial Hall on Monday, where those who have been evacuated are being cared for

Police said the number of people unable to return to their homes on Monday evening was reduced from more than 200 to less than 30.

They added: "Those who needed emergency accommodation overnight were supported by the local authority. Building checks will be carried out to assess the safety of properties to confirm which homes are safe for people to return to. This is being done as quickly as possible and access to properties will be allowed when it is safe to do so.

"Clydach Road and Field Close remain closed, while controlled access to homes in the Cwm Arian area is being facilitated."

In a statement, Superintendent Steve Jones said: “Our thoughts are with the family of the man who has lost his life and those affected by this tragic incident. We are doing everything possible to reduce the impact on the wider community and allow access to homes as quickly as possible where it is safe to do so.

“I would like to thank the community for the patience and support during what is a challenging incident.”

  • Videos show emergency services at the scene following the explosion earlier today

Sioned Williams, Member of the Senedd for the South Wales West region, said Brian Davies had been described locally as “very well liked” and “such a friendly person”.

“He apparently used to sit outside on the step and talk to people in the street. A lot of people knew him and liked him” the Plaid Cymru politician said.

Carolyn Harris, MP for Swansea East told ITV News she had helped put out appeals for basics to support those displaced from their homes, saying they need: “Basic things like toiletries, phone chargers, underwear, nightwear. We’ve had a phenomenal response and these are the things we take for granted.

“We need to get resources to be able to provide people with what they need whether that’s inside or outside of their homes.

“We have also had a generous financial offer from someone who wants to remain anonymous and we’ll be purchasing gift vouchers for families", she added.

Carolyn Harris MP said people who cannot return to their homes need basic supplies. Credit: ITV Wales

"We’re probably going to see a situation where those houses closest to the explosion may be out for some time. It’s not a case of the road opens and everyone moves back in - we don’t know how much damage has been done to those properties.

“They need to be looking at how much weight they can have on the road to stop any kind of subsidence for example.”

Ms Harris also described the news of the death of a man as “very painful”.

She added: “My deepest condolences, prayers and thoughts are with his family and friends who I know will be experiencing a very traumatic time."

Emergency services have been at the scene since Monday morning. Credit: Media Wales

Rob Long, Chief Operating Officer for Wales & West Utilities said: “We continue to work with the emergency services following an explosion at a property in the Clydach Road area of Swansea yesterday morning (13 March). As the gas emergency service, it is our role to make sure the area is safe and support the investigation.

“Due to the extensive nature of the incident, we have been carrying out comprehensive checks in the local area to rule out any damage to our network as a result of the explosion. We have completed these checks and now many residents are able to start returning to their homes.

“We still do not know what caused the explosion and we are remaining at the scene to support the emergency services and HSE as they investigate.

“We would like to reassure the local community that every safety precaution has been taken and would like to thank them for their patience and understanding during this difficult time.

“Our thoughts remain with the family of those affected and with the community of Morriston.”

An investigation will now get under way to establish the cause of the incident and the Health and Safety Executive has been informed, South Wales Police said.

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