Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Heating at flats hit by blast had switched from electric to gas

Heating systems had been converted recently from electric to gas at a block of flats destroyed by a major explosion in Wigan.

A police and fire investigation is on going at the scene of the suspected gas blast which left a 26-year-old man in a critical condition in hospital and a 43-year-old man in a serious, but stable condition.

The flats are managed by Wigan and Leigh Housing on behalf of Wigan Council.

A spokesman for the council and Wigan and Leigh Housing confirmed contractors had undertaken work at the block of flats as part of an ongoing repair and maintenance programme across the area, but emphasised the investigation had not decided on any cause yet and the extent of the damage was making it difficult to identify a source.

The spokesman said: “There has been no suggestion at this stage that this work could be responsible for the explosion.”

Wigan and Leigh Housing has been undertaking a programme of converting properties from electric storage heaters to gas central heating since the summer.

At this stage there is no plan to delay any conversion work. The spokesman said: “It would be imprudent to take any decision before the investigating team produces its findings. It could be another week before a cause is known.”

The explosion occurred at just after 9pm on Saturday November 29 and led to the partial collapse of the three storey block in Blake Close, Worsely Mesnes. Fire fighters had to battle for several hours to bring the resulting blaze under control.

Residents had to be evacuated from a total of 36 flats and casualties included the 26-year-old and 43-year-old who were taken to hospital suffering from burns. Their injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

A joint investigation into the cause of the incident is underway between Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Team and Greater Manchester Police.

A police spokesman said the investigation - which also involves forensic teams - would take some time due to the extent of the damage.

Photo courtesy of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue