Editor’s comment: Residents have right to know what caused explosion

PUBLISHED: 10:32 02 October 2017

Emergency services at the scene of an explosion at Bridge Point, Hornchurch. Picture: PA WIRE/PA IMAGES/VICTORIA JONES

Emergency services at the scene of an explosion at Bridge Point, Hornchurch. Picture: PA WIRE/PA IMAGES/VICTORIA JONES

PA Wire/PA Images/Victoria Jones

In late January, Hornchurch was rocked by an explosion which destroyed flats and left people homeless.

The A127 was closed as scores of emergency vehicles flocked to the scene and dozens of shocked residents, some shivering in silver thermal blankets, stood around unsure what had happened and whether they would ever be allowed to go back to their homes and belongings.

Rumours soon started to circulate that some kind of home made drugs factory had caused the explosion.

But eight months on, the residents are no nearer finding out the reason some homes were destroyed.

And they are frustrated that no one is being held responsible.

Police and fire investigators remain tight-lipped about their suspicions.

It can’t have been a gas leak as the block, Bridge Point, is not connected to gas.

Surely if it was an accident – some kind of electricity overload or a faulty appliance – they would have said by now.

Everyone who lives at Bridge Point – and most flats escaped unscathed – deserve a better explanation than just that the police have closed the investigation through lack of evidence.

Those who didn’t lose their homes were still traumatised at the time.

And Swan Housing Association, which owns the block, has had to wait all this time while the investigation was going on, before it could begin the process of rebuilding.

The end of the block where the blast happened is still covered up and fenced off and looks hardly any different from the morning after it happened.

Whether those who have been rehoused since the explosion will want to move back without knowing what caused it remains to be seen.

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