No mains gas supply to Redwood Grove as explosion investigation continues

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Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue has confirmed that there was no mains gas supply to Redwood Grove and they remain “unable to make any conclusions as to the cause of the explosion at this stage”.

Investigations are continuing into the fatal explosion in the block of flats that is believed to have left at least one person dead.

While they have not yet been formally identified, specialist officers are supporting the next of kin.

The damage caused by the explosion and subsequent fire means that search teams are unlikely to be able to enter the main block of flats affected for some time and police have described the scene as ‘complex’.

However, an adjacent block of flats could be re-opened to residents by the end of the week.

Chief Superintendent John Murphy of Bedfordshire Police said: “This is a hugely distressing and traumatic incident, and our thoughts remain with the friends and family of the person who has tragically lost their life.

“We still do not know the cause of the explosion.  A number of lines of enquiry are taking place to help us establish that, and we are working closely with our colleagues from the fire service as part of our investigation.

“We are now entering a protracted stage of the investigation at a very complex scene where we will be conducting our enquiries as diligently and professionally as we can.

“It may take a significant amount of time before we can begin to search at the affected site, given the damage that has been caused and the risks that presents to our teams.

“Therefore, at this stage we cannot rule out the possibility of further fatalities being discovered.”

He thanked residents of nearby properties for their support and patience while the scene was made safe.

From tomorrow, (Wednesday), there will be an information centre at the Harpur Suite in Harpur Square from 9am-5pm, open Monday to Friday.

Bedfordshire Police’s specialist education and diversion team also joined mental health services to deliver special sessions at a school near to the flats today.

Trevor Gradwell Smith, operational assurance manager at Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service continues to undertake a complex fire investigation at Redwood Grove and remain unable to make any conclusions as to the cause of the explosion at this stage.

“It has been confirmed there are no main gas supplies to the premises.

“We are working very closely and remain on the scene with Bedfordshire Police and other partner agencies such as the Urban Search and Rescue Team who are supporting us to reinforce the structural stability of the building.

“We are maintaining a response presence on scene over the next few days.

“In addition, we will be in the area carrying out home fire safety ‘Safe and Well’ visits and will be available to give out fire safety advice.”

The flats at Redwood Grove, Bedford, following a major gas explosion. Photo: Twitter

Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Festus Akinbusoye, added: “Following yesterday’s incident at Redwood Grove in Bedford I would like to offer my sincere condolences to everyone affected.

“I am shocked and saddened about the loss of life and my thoughts are with the families of those affected and in hospital, including one of our county’s firefighters.

“Bedfordshire Police are working tirelessly to establish the safety of residents and are working around the clock to continue to establish the cause.

“I want to thank our emergency services who continue to ensure the safety of members of the public.”

Police have also set up an information centre for people to get in touch, report any concerns or find out about family members.

Concerned family and friends can also call 0800 051 6085.

All the latest updates can be viewed here.

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