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‘No justice’ for former residents of Hornchurch’s Bridge Point flats as police close investigation into explosion

PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 September 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

The decision by police to close the investigation into the huge Hornchurch flats explosion without charging anyone has been labelled an injustice by furious residents.

Eight months ago this week, the nation’s attention turned to Bridge Point, a block of flats on the A127, as residents reported hearing a “massive bang”.

Passers-by watched as the seven flat building burst into flames.

A flood of emergency services, including more than 70 firefighters, rushed to the scene to tackle the blaze, as well as police and paramedics who took four people to hospital for treatment following the blast.

But this week, police have confirmed that the investigation into the explosion has closed and “the exact cause of the fire cannot be ascertained”.

Former Bridge Point resident Bobbie Leonard, 25, spoke to the Recorder at the time of the blast, describing how she and her boyfriend were watching television when the explosion happened and the walls and ceiling fell down around them.

Bobbie has since moved into a new flat in Hornchurch but says she now suffers with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because of what happened.

She was told by police last week the investigation was closed due to “insufficient evidence”.

“I’m devastated to be honest, and that’s an understatement,” she said.

“All of the residents who lived in those flats lost their homes and nothing has been done to punish who caused it.

“I’m getting my life together but I have nightmares daily and sleep is still non-existent.

“We’re still living this nightmare but there’s been no justice.”

Officers investigating the explosion arrested two men aged 25 and 33 on suspicion of arson not long after the incident but both were released with no further action.

Swan Housing Association – the company which runs Bridge Point – has now submitted a planning application to Havering Council to demolish and replace the buildings.

Those who want to return to the flats will be able to when the work is completed.

Bobbie said: “The building’s going to be fixed but that’s not going to help us who lost everything.

“It’s disgusting no one has been held responsible.”

The investigation will be reopened if information comes to light.

Anyone with information is asked to ring 101, or to remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

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