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Sympathy for gas explosion victim

The man who was killed when a gas cylinder exploded on a Laing O’Rourke construction site has been named.

Adam Johnston, a 38-year-old advanced gas service engineer and plumber from Sutton, South London, was killed on November 5 while working on the construction of a data centre in Welwyn Garden City.

Seven other men where injured in the incident; two remain in the Queen Elizabeth II hospital in Hertforshire, but five others were released after receiving treatment. 

The blast is believed to have been caused when an argonite gas cylinder for a fire suppression system inside a building still under construction exploded, setting off surrounding cylinders.

Mr Johnston was employed by O’Rourke’s Crown House Technologies division, based at Welwyn Garden City.

Adam, known as ‘Clubbie’, joined the Data Solutions team at Welwyn, having worked for Crown House Technologies on previous projects, most recently the Arora Hotel project at Heathrow, O’Rourke said in a statement.

Liam Cummins, Crown House Technologies managing director, added: “Adam was a popular member of the team and a devoted family man. This tragic accident has been felt intensely by everyone who knew him and by our business as a whole.

'In his time with the business he earned a reputation for high quality work and as a diligent, hard-working and reliable employee with a great sense of humour. He was always very supportive of our young trainees and apprentices and his skill and craftsmanship will live on in all who were fortunate to be mentored by Adam. 

“He will be deeply missed and our thoughts are with his wife Michelle, and the family at this time.”

The Metropolitan Police and the Health and Safety Executive are investigating the incident.