Women Whose Homes Were Devastated In Salford Gas Blast Speak Out One Year On

Lawyer Welcomes HSE Investigation


Two women whose homes were devastated in a gas blast in Salford have spoken out a year on from the explosion.

On Tuesday 2nd of November the blast in Greater Manchester destroyed and damaged a number of terrace houses including the home of 74-year-old Marie Burns, whose kitchen was at the centre of the incident. Her neighbour of 15 years 54-year-old Sharon Girenti’s home was also damaged.

Following the incident, both women called on serious injury experts at the Manchester office of law firm Irwin Mitchell for help.  Their lawyer Jonathan Betts, who also represents two other families whose homes were damaged, said: “More than a year after this devastating accident, the circumstances that lead to it are still not known and many people like Marie and Sharon who suffered injuries, be it psychological or physical, have been left not knowing why this happened.

“Given the nature of the blast, and the number of people who were so seriously injured, the current investigation being carried out by the HSE (Health Safety Executive) is extremely welcome. We hope that their findings will provide the answers to the many questions these families have as to what happened on that fateful day, and what lessons can be learnt to ensure nothing like this ever happens again. "

Betts went onto to urge the HSE to carry out their necessary enquiries as quickly as possible. He said: "A full and thorough investigation is absolutely vital, but the sooner it is concluded the sooner those affected can look to put this horrific ordeal behind them and move forward with their lives."

At 7:15am a year ago this week, residents on a Salford street were awoken by an explosion at a property owned by City West Housing Trust. Up to 50 fire-fighters were initially called to the scene and several neighbouring streets were cordoned off by police. Engineers were also called from the National Grid were called in to isolate the gas supply to the street. Around 200 families were evacuated from surrounding homes.

After the explosion, mum of one Marie spent three months in Wythenshawe hospital and six weeks at Hope Hospital where she was treated for burns and serious lung damage, before going to Heartly Green care home in Irlam for rehabilitation.

Commenting on her ordeal she said: “When I woke up I didn’t know what had happened, to learn that on top of my injuries I’d lost everything I owned, even the clothes I was standing in when the accident happened, was difficult to cope with.

“Not knowing why this happened to me, my family and friends is still a torment. I hope we get answers soon so we can all do our best to move on.”

Mum of three Sharon said: “Myself and Marie have been friends for over 40 years, and the past twelve months have been some of the most difficult of our lives, but we have to be thankful that we are both still here to tell the tale.

“Nothing can ever replace what we have lost or what we have been through, all we want now is to know why this happened to us.”