'No gas escape detected', says Island Energy following suspected explosion

Gas engineers working in the area the morning after the suspected explosion.

Jersey's gas company says it has not detected any gas escape on the night of a suspected explosion at a home in St Helier.

In a statement issued on Friday morning (28 June) Island Energy says there is still no conclusion as to what caused it.

A home on Mont Pinel partially-collapsed after a loud bang was heard at around 11pm on Wednesday night.

Two young children were rescued unharmed. Their parents remain in hospital in stable condition. 

19 neighbours have been moved to temporary accommodation.

Island Energy says, within the areas it was been allowed to survey, no gas escape was detected that evening, and none throughout their investigation, which has now concluded: 

"Working with the emergency services our engineers have now completed all testing at the site and surrounding areas, this has included sewers and all aspects of the gas network.

"Our findings show there is zero trace of gas. Island Energy has been given the green light to fill in the excavation outside the property so the relevant authorities can make the site secure, and they will continue to investigate the house to ascertain what caused the explosion.

"Our thoughts are with the residents affected and we will continue to provide any support required to the authorities."

A previous statement says it is routine for its engineers to be deployed after an 'incident of this nature', along with the other main utilities including Jersey Electricity and Jersey Water - to support Jersey Fire and Rescue as part of the emergency response team.

Station Commander Ryan Hall, from Jersey Fire and Rescue, was leading efforts on Wednesday night to get a family of four to safety. 

The senior firefighter describes the moment the parents and children were rescued, just 45 minutes before their wall collapsed: 

"My forward commander paused operations for a moment when we started to feel what felt like vibrations. 

"At that point, one of the monitoring safety officers made the decision that it was time to evacuate. It was really time-critical and we were on that good side, leaving with that final casualty when the decision came to evacuate the property."

The Incident Commander paid tribute to his firefighters: 

"When things go wrong its the firefighters that run towards danger when everyone else is running away,

"We do that because we want to, we want to save life and protect our community, and I think that is really good."

Ryan Hall also revealed specialists from the UK might be brought in to help with the investigation. 

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