Explosion probe still going on 16 months later say police

Friday 4th February 2022 7:00 am

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POLICE inquiries into a huge house explosion are still ongoing, 16 months after the early evening blast rocked Chepstow town centre, reports NICK HARTLAND.

Horrified witnesses saw a man thrown through the window when the incident happened in Lower Church Street on Monday, September 21, 2020, opposite the Baptist Church near the Drill Hall.

Fire engulfed the building causing extensive damage to the cottage and neighbouring homes, and emergency services evacuated the street while firefighters tackled the blaze.

A family with a young child had walked past the house just moments before the explosion, which happened around 6.30pm.

An emergency service manager from Wales and West Utilities later said it was not thought to be related to the mains gas network, while witnesses said firefighters had found gas canisters at the scene.

The injured man was taken to Morriston Hospital burns unit in Swansea after an air ambulance landed in the nearby graveyard behind the museum.

A cordon was thrown around the area as firefighters fought the blaze, which could be seen across the town and from over the Wye in England.

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service sent six fire engines and other resources to the blazing cottage, and film posted from Tutshill Cliff showed fire engines spraying jets of water on it.

Neighbour Ben Powell, 27, told the BBC he was in his home opposite the building wearing headphones when he heard "a massive bang".

"It shook my flat," said the chef. "I looked out my window and there were literally bits of the house opposite everywhere and people were screaming.

"The house looked like a bomb had gone off inside, but then there was a little flame - and within two minutes the whole house had caught fire."

Gwent Police confirmed this week: "Re: Lower Church Street in Chepstow - inquiries are ongoing."

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