Gas lines and pipes ‘did not contribute to or cause’ the house explosion that killed a 91-year-old man in Wythenshawe last night, the gas network has found. The gas company, Cadent, revealed the conclusions of its checks following the explosion which saw the death of Frank Burton at his home.
According to the Cadent gas distribution network, the gas lines and service lines in the area are “healthy”. Staff’s ‘thorough investigation’ comes after widower Frank Burton, 91, was found dead at his home after the explosion in Brownley Road, Wythenshawe, on March 31.
READ MORE:Police release investigation update following tragic home explosion that killed 91-year-old Frank Burton
Emergency services responded to reports of a fire and explosion at the Brownley Road home around 6.30pm. Sadly, a man – believed to be in his 90s – was later found dead inside a property.
Greater Manchester Police had suggested there had been reports of gas explosions. However, in a new statement released around 3:30 p.m. today, April 1, the force stressed that the cause remains to be determined and that investigations are still in their early stages. A number of homes were evacuated and the scene secured around 8 p.m. Greater Manchester Police bosses have now appealed to anyone with information about the blast, adding they believe it was a ‘contained incident’.
Cadent managed the underground gas pipelines, transporting gas to the properties. It’s also the gas emergency service – with engineers ready to respond to any emergency 24/7, whether it’s something connected to the Cadent network or something inside. a property, not part of the network.
Mark Berry, Customer Operations Manager at Cadent, said: “As a gas emergency service, we have been supporting the emergency response to what happened at Wythenshawe. The thoughts of everyone at Cadent are with those affected by this.
“After a thorough investigation, we can confirm that the gas lines and service lines in the area are sound and did not contribute to the Brownley Road incident. The matter is now in the hands of other agencies for further investigation.
“We also remind you that if you ever smell gas, inside or outside the house, immediately call the national gas emergency service on 0800 111 999*, day or night. Our team is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to respond quickly to emergencies.
Frank Burton’s family paid tribute to him at the scene this morning as investigations continued, describing him as ‘a character and a good guy’. His brother Philip said he feared his brother – a father-of-two – had bought a device to ‘help cope with the cold spell in anticipation of rising energy bills’ – and that this could have triggered the explosion.
In an update this afternoon, Friday April 1, GMP City of Manchester Detective Inspector Matthew Dixon said: “First of all my thoughts are with the family of the deceased man .
“Although we believe the deceased man was the occupant of the house, he has not yet been formally identified. His family have been notified and are being supported by specialist officers.
“Our investigations with the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and the Health and Safety Manager are at an early stage as we try to determine the cause of the explosion.
“It is believed this was a self-contained incident and there is no threat to surrounding properties. I would like to thank the residents of Brownley Road and the surrounding community for their patience during a very difficult night.
“Many families were displaced last night but are back home today, and properties on either side have not been damaged. Anyone with information about the incident should call the police on 101 citing journal 2418 of 03/31/2022.”
Mr Burton’s brother explained how he thought the explosion could have been caused by a new device. He said: “The explosion is typical of gas. Whether it’s town gas or if it had something to help deal with the cold snap and anticipate the energy surge , maybe he bought something.”
A device may have been left on and triggered the explosion Manchester Evening News understands, although this has not been confirmed by the authorities. Cadets, firefighters and police stayed home this afternoon.
Mark Threader, Manchester Borough Commander for the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, and Mark Dixon, Detective Inspector at GMP, both spoke from the scene and said investigations were under way in their early days.
“As things stand, we are in the process of securing the scene so that we can carry out investigations. GMFRS, GMP and Cadent gas are working closely together to try to find out what caused the incident,” said Mr. .Threader.
A major incident was declared for a short time last night before being shut down by emergency services. A large cordon was put in place on Brownley Road as some residents were evacuated from their homes.
At the scene, DI Dixon said firefighters told him the incident was “isolated”. He said: “It was specific to these premises and there is no broader risk to other properties. We are keeping an open mind and exploring all avenues of investigation.”
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