There are fears of a new gas leak at the scene of a devastating explosion yesterday that killed a four-year-old girl.
The blast yesterday “completely wiped out” two houses in Thornton Heath, Croydon, South London, and claimed a young girl’s life.
This afternoon the cordon at the scene doubled in the space of 30 minutes and nearby homes have been evacuated with those living nearby now allowed back to their homes.
A number of London Fire Brigade Commanders have also arrived at the scene, with the cordon enlarging by around 100 metres on Galpins Road, MyLondon reports.
Emergency services rushed to the scene after neighbours reported hearing a “huge bang.”
Three people were rushed to hospital fighting for their lives, there has not been an update on their conditions today.
A four-year-old girl was found dead in the rubble.
Neighbours and friends have gathered to pay tribute at the scene today where all that remains of the house is debris strewn across the road.
Some neighbours reported a smell of gas so strong it left them dizzy in the days before the explosion.
One resident said the gas smell was so bad it was giving her family headaches and making them dizzy.
Speaking to MyLondon at the scene, the neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous said: “The gas smelt really strong on Sunday night, we were getting headaches and dizziness it was that bad.”
The woman, who has two children ages 11 and 14, described how Merton Council had been “excellent” with residents, who have been unable to return to their homes while the gas is investigated.
Other residents yesterday said there was a strong smell of gas in the area for several weeks before the gas explosion destroyed the house, MyLondon reports.
Reverend Deji Ayorinde, of the nearby Pollards Hill Baptist Church, told PA news agency residents had been reporting the gas smell for weeks before the explosion and were furious that nothing had been done.
He said: “This thing was reported and it still wasn’t resolved days or weeks later. Who takes ownership for that? The anger has built up because it has now cost a life and that’s a catalyst for the strength of emotion around this.”
Gas workers can be seen working at the site of the explosion today within the police cordon, as well as police officers and firefighters.
Yesterday the electricity in the area was switched off as a precaution, when workers were unable to cut off the gas supply to the street.