Investigation into Redwood Grove explosion may begin earlier than expected

Redwood Grove explosion police cordon
A police office guard the cordon at Redwood Grove. Image: Bedfordshire Police

Structural engineers have told emergency services investigating the Redwood Grove explosion that they may be able to search the main affected block of flats quicker than expected.

Bedfordshire Police say they’re hopeful they could get access to find clues that might tell them what caused the explosion within a few days, subject to some structural support and safety measures being put in place.

There is also hope that the majority of residents in an adjacent block of flats will be able to return to their homes by the end of this week.

Read: Justgiving page aims to raise £10,000 to support Redwood Grove residents

There may also be an opportunity to gain access to vehicles which are still stuck within the cordoned area.

In the coming weeks, once the building is made structurally safe and detailed searches are complete, people who lived in directly impacted flats may be able to return and collect important personal items.

Chief Superintendent John Murphy, said: “We are continuing to do our work in Redwood Grove as quickly and as safely as we can.

“We know that this will be a protracted investigation given the complexity of the site, but we have had some positive news from structural experts today that means we will be able to make progress more quickly than we initially thought.

“Our thoughts remain with the family of the person who is believed to have died in this tragic and hugely distressing incident. We have specialist officers available to support them however we can.”

At least one person is confirmed to have died in the explosion and fire on Monday (4 July).

Specialist officers are speaking with and supporting their next of kin of the person, but have not yet been able to formally confirm their identity.

Read: Police confirm one dead and others unaccounted for following Redwood Grove gas explosion

No gas supply to the building

Bedfordshire Fire & Rescue Service confirmed on Tuesday (5 July) that there is no mains gas supply into the building.

Specialist fire investigators and Bedfordshire Police are working together to find the cause of the fire and say they are “following a number of lines of enquiry.”

Read: No mains gas supply to Redwood Grove as explosion investigation continues

Specialist police search teams are now carrying out searches at the edge of the cordon today after the site was handed to police by the fire service yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon.

Information centre

An information centre has been set up for people to report any concerns or find out about family members.

Concerned family and friends can also call 0800 051 6085.

Further updates from Bedfordshire Police can be found at the dedicated Redwood Grove pages on their website.