Adam Walker, his partner Sophie Croft and their three-year-old son somehow avoided serious injury when an explosion destroyed their home in Skelmersdale, Lancashire
Image: Liverpool Echo)
A father was smoking a cigarette on his balcony when he was thrown into the air by the force of an explosion.
Adam Walker, 32, heard a loud bang followed by screams from his three-year-old son Jaxon as the blast punctured his apartment block last month.
Police said no one was seriously injured in the blast in Skelmersdale, Lancashire.
But Adam, his 26-year-old partner Sophie Croft and their young son were among several families forced to evacuate their homes after the blast.
Speak with Liverpool echosaid the father: “I was sitting on the balcony when it happened, it threw me off my chair and I ran in, grabbed Sophie, grabbed the baby and ran out.
James Maloney/Lanc’s Live)
“I can’t explain what that feeling was like. I just sat there and drank a cigarette – it just popped. The baby was in the living room, it was sleeping – it woke up screaming.”
A man believed to be staying in another apartment required hospital treatment for burns, but his injuries are not life-threatening.
Photos show the extent of the damage caused by the explosion. One picture shows a fridge-freezer hanging from the rubble along with a two-seater sofa.
People who lived in the two homes directly affected by the blast remain in temporary accommodation, while others have chosen to stay with friends and family. In an update this week, West Lancashire Council said a decision had been made to demolish the two homes affected.
A letter has been sent to residents in the area informing them of the demolition work and the potential impact. Adam said his family have now returned home but no longer feel safe there and have requested to be moved to another property by the council.
Adam said: “We lived in my mother’s living room for two weeks. It affected everyone. Jaxon hasn’t been back to school, he’s not himself. He doesn’t sleep properly.
“It affected me too, I’m late for work and that’s not my style. I don’t sleep properly.”
Lancashire Police are still investigating the cause of the explosion. A 40-year-old Skelmersdale man arrested on suspicion of manufacturing a controlled drug has since been released on bail until June 20.
A 29-year-old Darlington man arrested on suspicion of manufacturing a Class B drug and manufacturing an explosive substance that could threaten life or cause serious injury has been released on bail until June 16.
James Maloney/Lanc’s Live)
A spokesman for West Lancashire Borough Council said: “Following the blast at Tanfields, Skelmersdale, the council worked closely with affected residents. We can confirm that the residents of the two homes directly affected by the incident have been offered temporary accommodation, which some residents have taken up while others are staying with family and friends.
“We have been in regular contact with displaced residents to provide support and updates. We have also written to the wider community to inform them of the need for the demolition of the two homes, the timeframe involved and any health and safety implications in addition to the impact this work may have on access and parking around the affect terrain.
“Although the property in question is not in any of the affected blocks, I can confirm that we consulted our structural engineer who confirmed that there was no residual risk that would require residents to move out.
“We will give due consideration to any application for housing under the Council’s Allocation Policy, taking into account all supporting evidence.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/i-having-ciggy-just-went-27210939 "I had a Ziggy and it just went baggy - I got blown up"