Fire bomb threat to be investigated by police as inquiries into fatal Clayton-le-Woods explosion continue

Claims the man who died in the explosion in Clayton-le-Woods was the target of a bomb threat four years ago are being investigated, police said.

Monday, 18th October 2021, 6:45 pm

Carl Whalley, 57, died after a suspected explosion at his semi-detached home in Kirkby Avenue at around 1.30pm on Friday (October 15).

On Monday (October 18), the Post revealed Mr Whalley claimed he was the target of a bomb threat four years ago.

After the allegations surfaced online, officers confirmed they were looking into the claim as part of their enquiries.

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They also confirmed they were in the process of reviewing the circumstances of the incident to determine whether a mandatory referral to the Independent Office of Police Conduct was required.

Det Chief Insp Zoe Russo, of South Division, said: "My thoughts remain with Mr Whalley's family and loved ones at this time and we have officers who are supporting them.

"Our investigation is focussed on trying to establish how the fire started and we remain in the relatively early stages of that investigation.

"As I’m sure people will understand we are faced with an extremely complex scene and we have a number of enquiries to undertake so it may take some time to establish the exact circumstances."

Claims of a "neighbour dispute" are being investigated by police after a man died in an explosion in Clayton-le-Woods.

She added: "We are aware of some allegations made on social media by Mr Whalley and suggestions of a neighbour dispute and we are looking into these matters as part of our enquiries."

At the time of the alleged bomb threat Mr Whalley told an LEP reporter: "The man said he'd firebomb my house.

"I've told the police and sent them a recording of him saying it, but they said they couldn't take it any further because the threat wasn't made to me personally."

The Post contacted Lancashire Police in March 2017 to ask about his claim and was told it was being investigated, but it is believed no action was taken.

Although formal identification has yet to take place, police believe the man who died in the explosion was Carl Whalley (Credit: Lancashire Police)

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The blast on Friday completely demolished Mr Whalley's house.

Residents were evacuated and given refuge in the local pub and also a nearby primary school until the area could be declared safe.

A joint investigation between police and Lancashire Fire and Rescue was launched and enquiries are ongoing.

Anyone with information has been asked to contact 101, quoting log number 0756 of October 15.

Information can also be reported online at doitonline.lancashire.police.uk.

Alternatively, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via crimestoppers-uk.org.

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