A house damaged in the explosion at Thornton Heath (PA Wire)
A woman who was left in a coma after a fatal gas explosion in south London has said “somebody has to be accountable” for what happened.
Elaine McDonald lost the home she shared with Nigel Forde on Galpin’s Road, Thornton Heath, when it was destroyed in the explosion on August 8, 2022, which claimed the life of four-year-old Sahara Salman when a neighbouring house collapsed.
Ms McDonald told BBC News: “Somebody has to be accountable for what’s happened to me, Nigel, Sahara’s family and the residents of Galpin’s Road.”
A property in Galpin’s Road, Thornton Heath, collapsed in a gas explosion, claiming the life of a child (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)
The 55-year-old was trapped under rubble after the explosion and left in a coma with broken bones and more than 50% burns.
She said residents wanted a “discussion” with the gas company, SGN, that was working on the road before it happened.
The firm says it is co-operating with an investigation and in a letter seen by the BBC, the Met Police said it was investigating whether there was enough evidence to bring a criminal prosecution against SGN.
A woman lays flowers near Galpin’s Road in Thornton Heath, south London (Dominic Lipinski/PA) (PA Wire)
A spokesperson for SGN said: “Since last August, our thoughts have remained with the family of Sahara, the residents who were seriously injured and the wider community.
“There is an ongoing investigation by the Metropolitan Police and HSE, and we are co-operating fully with those enquiries.”
Around 80 homes were evacuated after the explosion with some families waiting to be rehoused while others are waiting for repairs to be completed before they can return home.