By Erdington Local editorial team
The gas explosion which destroyed a house in Kingstanding and damaged six other properties, leaving a grandmother dead and a man fighting for his life in hospital, was “most likely” caused by faulty pipework West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) have stated.
West Midlands Fire Service came to the conclusion after four days investigating the cause of the devastating explosion on Dulwich Road on Sunday 26 June.
A WMFS spokesman said: “We would like to take this opportunity to again extend our sympathies to everyone affected by Sunday night’s events in which, tragically, a woman lost her life.
“The man who was rescued remains in a critical but stable condition in hospital.”
The spokesman added: “Extensive investigations at the scene of the explosion are now complete.
“Demolition work on Tuesday enabled investigators to safely access and test sections of the property’s internal gas piping.
“They have concluded that the explosion was most likely caused by the accidental and inadvertent ignition of a large escape of gas from a joint in the pipework.”
West Midlands Police officers are also gathering evidence for HM Coroner and family liaison officers continue to support those most directly affected.
The Health and Safety Executive will continue to make enquiries as to whether any work-related activities contributed towards the incident.
The WMFS spokesman added: “We are extremely grateful to the families involved, and to the local community, for their understanding and patience throughout the initial emergency response and the subsequent investigation.
“The community has been fantastic in the aftermath of this tragedy, offering support and shelter to those affected, and we would like to thank everyone involved in that effort.”
The Kingstanding Inn has stopped accepting donations of items for those affected by the blast after being deluged by people bringing clothes and food.
Kingstanding Councillor Rick Payne said: “On behalf of those who have done a stellar job of collecting items for the Dulwich Road relief I just want to make everybody aware they there has been an overwhelming response.
“Thank you everyone that has donated for your generosity, The Kingstanding Inn has been absolutely inundated and has asked me to inform residents that they are no longer taking any donations.
“There was a massive surplus and as a result, following a meeting of the charities who have been working within the community over the past few days, a decision has been made to donate the surplus items to local schools and charities.”
A GoFundMe campaign was also set up by Kingstanding resident Sam Wellings, who lives on Birdbrook Road. At the time of writing £2,365 had been raised in donations.
For more on the GoFundMe ‘Kingstanding house explosion’ campaign visit: www.gofundme.com/f/kingstanding-house-explosion