Community in shock after gas explosion wrecks house in Clayton-le-Woods

Emergency services were still at the scene today and neighbours still in shock following a devastating gas explosion in which a 58-year-old man died.

By Tony Durkin
Sunday, 17th October 2021, 5:25 pm

Firefighters and representatives from gas service Cadent were investigating the scene at Kirkby Avenue, Clayton-le -Woods near Chorley behind a cordon manned by police officers.

One neighbour who didn't wish to be named was in her nearby home at the time of the explosion on Friday lunchtime.

She said: "It was like something from a film. I heard this dreadful explosion and then people were running up the street to see what had happened.

The scene this morning

"It was horrible. I just couldn't believe it but it's a close-knit community here and everyone has rallied round to help out as best they can."

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Another said: "I haven't slept. I couldn't for thinking about that poor man. Some of us have been here 30 or 40 years and it's a lovely community. I just can't believe this has happened."

Residents from the properties closest to the explosion were taken to a nearby primary school, where they were interviewed as witnesses by police and allocated places for overnight stays, with some believed to have gone to local hotels.

Flowers left at the scene

Daniel Dunne, landlord of the nearby Woodsman pub, put out an open invitation of food and shelter for displaced residents and supplied food to emergency services on Friday evening and Saturday morning.

He said: "We're a community pub and it was all about doing all we could to help the community.

"First we knew was when a regular customer came in, clearly in deep shock, and said what had happened.

"We went to the school where the residents had been taken, made the offer and we welcomed quite a few families and made sure they were comfortable and well fed.

Landlord Daniel Dunne and assistant manager Emma Bayley at The Woodsman pub

"We reopened the kitchen, laid on food and did what we could for the emergency service people. It's a shocking thing to happen."