Demolition crews begin work at site of Portsmouth home destroyed by gas explosion

DEMOLITION teams have started to sift through the rubble of a home obliterated in a gas explosion.

Monday, 25th October 2021, 4:54 pm

Crews from Southampton-based firm Wessex Demolition and Salvage started the operation this afternoon at the property in Nelson Avenue, North End, Portsmouth.

It followed a devastating blast on Friday afternoon which left two people – including an elderly woman – seriously injured and needing emergency treatment.

Salvage crews used a cherry picker to gain access to the first-floor bedroom at the front of the property, which had been completed destroyed by the explosion and resulting fire which gutted the rest of the property.

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Demolition crews inspect the destroyed home in Nelson Avenue, North End. Photo: Tom Cotterill

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It’s not known yet whether the house will have to be completely torn down and rebuilt or if the property can be saved.

The clear-up operation came as relatives of the pair – who are understood to have been a mother and her son – wrote to neighbours to update them on their recovery.

The letter, which was pinned to metal fencing in front of the gutted house said the pair ‘would like to say a huge thank you to all those who came to their rescue on Friday last’.

Demolition crews inspect the destroyed home in Nelson Avenue, North End. Photo: Tom Cotterill

‘They hope those who are still not back in their homes will be soon.’

The pair were rescued from their home following the explosion. However, they were badly injured by the blast.

The were transported to Southampton hospital for treatment. It’s understood they are now receiving specialist care at the Odstock regional centre for burns, plastic and reconstructive surgery based at Salisbury District Hospital.

The letter added: ‘They are at the burns unit at Salisbury. At the moment things are okay.’

Demolition crews inspect the destroyed home in Nelson Avenue, North End. Photo: Tom Cotterill

As previously reported, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service said over the weekend that the explosion had been caused by a ‘natural gas leak’ and that the blaze had started in the kitchen.

Neighbours have also been left homeless following the blast, which left a gaping hole in the roof and saw the bay window blown out.

The rear of the terraced home was also destroyed, flinging debris into the back gardens of homes to the rear, in Gladys Avenue.

Dozens of people have donated to a fundraiser to help the victims of the house explosion, with £595 already pledged. To donate, see justgiving.com/crowdfunding/gasexplosionportsmouth

Demolition crews inspect the destroyed home in Nelson Avenue, North End. Photo: Tom Cotterill

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