Post-mortem of the man killed in the Clayton-le-Woods explosion confirms cause of death

A post-mortem examination of the man killed in the Clayton-le-Woods explosion last week has given the cause of death as smoke inhalation and burns.

Thursday, 21st October 2021, 12:24 pm

On Friday, October 15, emergency services were called at around 1.30pm to a report of a fire where a house had collapsed on Kirkby Avenue.

The body of the occupant of the house, Carl Whalley, 57, was found deceased inside the address, and the results of his port-mortem were released yesterday evening.

Although the post-mortem confirms Mr Whalley died due to smoke inhalation and burns, an investigation into the cause of the blaze is still ongoing.

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The body of Carl Whalley was found in the wreckage of his collapsed house.

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Detective Chief Inspector Jill Johnston, of Lancashire Police, said: “My thoughts continue to be with Mr Whalley’s loved ones at this time. We have officers who are supporting them and we are keeping them fully updated on the progress of our investigation.

“We continue to work through the evidence we have to try and establish the cause of the fire and our enquiries include looking through CCTV footage and other digital media and speaking to witnesses. For those reasons it may take some time before we are able to give a definitive cause for the fire."

The scene at the Clayton-le-Woods house in the aftermath of the explosion.

The post-mortem results come as Lancashire Police confirm that the incident has now been referred the Independent Office of Police Conduct.

Yesterday (October 20), the IOPC confirmed it had received a referral from Lancashire Police "due to the fact officers had contact with the occupant prior to the incident".

This contact involves the fact that Mr Whalley had told the police in 2017 that he was a target of a bomb threat, as the Post reported on Monday.

The complaint was investigated, but the Post understands no action was taken.

A spokesman for the IOPC said: "We are assessing the available information to determine what further action may be required.

"Our thoughts are with all those affected by this tragedy."

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

Alternatively, information can be reported online at

The independent charity Crimestoppers can also be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via