AN 82 year-old woman had a lucky escape after a gas explosion in her kitchen blew out a wall and destroyed a conservatory. The woman, who was in another room at time, has been left badly shaken but was not hurt in the explosion.
The explosion happened in Gifford Cross Road in Corringham.
The explosion appears to have been caused by a leak in the gas pipe coming into the property. It exploded with such force that as well as knocking down a wall and the conservatory it blasted the kitchen door off its hinges and into her back garden. The woman was rescued from her badly damaged home by a quick thinking neighbour.
Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire leaving just a small flame burning on the gas pipe to ensure that gas wasn’t allowed to build up. Unfortunately this flame put itself out so there is a gas leak from the pipes which is affecting the area. Two homes either side of the property have been evacuated, around 12 people are with relatives or neighbours. The road has also been closed to traffic as a precautionary measure
An ambulance was called for the woman who is suffering from shock.
Firefighters had dealt with the fire by 19:38hrs before withdrawing to a safe distance.
The gas board are now (21:25hrs) at work isolating the gas supply to make the area safe.
Assistant Divisional Officer Mark Turnbull said: "This was a very substantial gas explosion and the woman has had an extremely lucky escape. A neighbour came in to rescue her after the explosion and thanks to his bravery and quick thinking she is now safely out of the property and being looked after by Ambulance crews.
"We have evacuated around 12 people from two homes either side until the gas board can make the area safe.
"The explosion has caused a great deal of damage and it is incredibly lucky that no one was hurt, or even killed, by this explosion.
“We are standing by until we have received assurances that the scene is entirely safe.”
An investigation will be carried out to establish the cause of the blast.