Morriston explosion: Swansea postman recalls moment he drove into blast while out on delivery

The red post van that Mr Roberts was driving can be seen abandoned next to a flattened home. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales/Family Photo.

A postman from Swansea has recalled the terrifying moments before and after he was caught up in an explosion.

Jonathan Roberts, 49, was doing the rounds in Field Close and Clydach Road, when he drove into a cloud of dust and debris.

The explosion claimed the life of one man, 68-year-old Brian Davies, and injured three others.

Jonathan and his wife Donna both live in Swansea with their children. Credit: Family photo.
Bricks, roof tiles and pieces of loft installation were blown across the street.

Video footage from a nearby CCTV camera shows how the blast erupted directly next to Mr Roberts' red post van.

He told ITV News that bricks landed on the van, causing the window to shatter, and seconds after the vehicle filled with dust.

  • "It felt like the van was being crushed"

The blast left him with glass in his face and a loss of feeling in his arm for around 20 minutes.

His face was covered in blood, leading to those who came to his aid fearing he had been badly injured.

Mr Roberts explained how his legs were "like jelly" as he ran towards help.

Local residents and a fellow delivery driver came to help, offering blankets, glasses of water and a comforting hand in the chaotic aftermath.

He has thanked all of those who have supported him in the moments after the blast and in the days since.

The fire service and paramedics explained to Mr Roberts that the feeling of sunburn on his neck could have been a "forced blast burn".

One person died and three others were injured with hundreds of residents evacuated out of their homes.

The lasting effect on Mr Roberts is such that he has had the gas connected to his oven hob switched off.

Though the explosion was suspected to be gas related, the cause has not yet been confirmed.

Donna Roberts, 49, told ITV News that she was at work when she heard about the explosion.

A colleague asked if she had heard the noise from their workplace which is nearby.

Mrs Roberts said she then had a message from her husband explaining that he had been in an accident, but she didn't know it was related to the noise.

In a phone call conversation Mrs Roberts had with a paramedic at the scene, she said the emergency service worker described her husband as "one lucky man".

The clean up operation was in full swing last week with large amounts of debris cleared away

Mrs Roberts looked at the pictures of the destruction and the aftermath of the explosion and she noticed her husband's red post van in the middle of the rubble.

She was "bracing herself" as she waited to see her husband arrive in hospital.

Those tense moments were replaced with "relief" when she eventually saw him.

  • "I was physically sick"

Recalling the moment when she watched nearby CCTV footage of the blast and her husband's escape, Mrs Roberts said she was "physically sick".

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragic incident, including the family and friends of the resident who died.

"We are supporting a Royal Mail colleague while he recovers at home from his injuries, and are relieved that he was not more seriously hurt.”

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