Shropshire Star

Fatal house explosion investigators focusing on internal gas installations

An 84-year-old man died following the blast in Edinburgh.

Baberton explosion

An investigation into an explosion at a house in Edinburgh that claimed a man’s life is focusing on the internal gas installations at the property.

The man, named locally as James Smith, 84, died and a 43-year-old woman and 54-year-old man were taken to hospital following the blast in Baberton Mains Avenue on Friday evening.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said it is focusing on installations inside the house rather than on the gas network.

Emergency services were called to the Baberton area at 10.25pm on Friday after “multiple reports” about the blast.

Baberton explosion
The explosion happened on Friday evening (Jane Barlow/PA)

A house was destroyed in the explosion and bricks and debris were left strewn across the road.

It is understood that Mr Smith was in a neighbouring property.

An HSE spokesperson said: “The focus of our investigation relates to the internal gas installations at the property and not the network.

“Our thoughts are with the friends and family of the man who sadly lost his life.”

People were evacuated from a number of homes in the area following the blast.

Neighbours said they felt their homes shaking while one person said they heard the explosion from inside a cinema in nearby Wester Hailes.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said five engines attended and two people were rescued from the ruins of the property before their arrival.

Baberton explosion
Rubble was strewn across the street (Lesley Martin/PA)

A Scottish Gas Networks (SGN) spokesperson said: “After a thorough investigation, the Health and Safety Executive have confirmed the incident in Baberton on Friday night was not related to SGN’s network.

“Our deepest sympathies are with the family of the 84-year-old man who tragically died in this incident.

“Our thoughts also remain with the couple injured as a result of the explosion.

“We initially worked with the emergency services to ensure the immediate vicinity was made safe in our role as the gas emergency service.

“We’re working with Edinburgh Council to offer support to residents evacuated following the explosion.

“We’d like to reassure the local community that their gas supply is safe to use.”

SGN reminded people that if anyone smells gas inside or outside they should call the national gas emergency service on 0800 111 999.

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