Specialist Injury Lawyers Secure Funds to Support Rehabilitation and Therapies
Victims of the Irlam gas blast three years ago, which forced many vulnerable people out of their homes for months, have secured a settlement to help them recover from their injuries.
In April this year, a gas fitter pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety guidelines after work he had carried out led to an explosion in a home on Merlin Road, Salford on 2 November 2010 forced 200 homes to be evacuated and left many suffering injuries.
Now serious injury experts at Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester office, who have been supporting a number of the victims since the incident, have secured a series of undisclosed settlements for five people injured in the blast.
The victims have needed help with their recovery from both the physical injuries and psychological scars caused by the terrible incident which rocked the quiet community. The settlements will help pay for specialist treatments and therapies they need to help them recover from the ordeal.
Sabrina McCarron, a specialist serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing the group, said: “Our clients have suffered hugely since the disaster, both physically and mentally and are still really coming to terms with the serious injuries they suffered as well as the psychological impact of losing their homes and many of their belongings.
“This is something they will never forget and thankfully now that we have secured the settlements they can continue to access the necessary therapies and support to help them overcome the trauma.”
Three years ago the gas explosion ripped through the row of terraced houses as 40 fire fighters and emergency services fought to save people trapped in their homes, owned by City West Housing Trust.
Those affected were given the keys to their newly rebuilt homes at the end of last year and have been continuing with their battle for answers as to why the accident happened and for access to the treatments they needed.
Marie Burns was having breakfast when the explosion destroyed her home and left her fighting for her life. She spent more than two months in Wythenshaw Hospital and Hope Hospital where she was treated for 53 per cent burns and serious lung damage, before attending the Heartly Green care home in Irlam for rehabilitation from her injuries.
The 75 year old, who has now received a substantial settlement to help with her rehabilitation, said: “The past three years have been the most traumatic of my life, something I don’t think I’ll ever get over.
“I have vivid memories of making my breakfast on the day of the explosion, of a deafening bang and then someone sitting me down in the middle of the rubble before an ambulance was called, but after that I don’t remember a thing.
“I was in a coma for three months and when I woke up I had to deal with really painful injuries and the fact I’d lost everything I owned. Everything was destroyed – from family photographs to all my clothes and sentimental things I’d collected over the years. I had to rebuild my life from scratch.
“I had to learn to walk again and I’ve had to come to terms with the horrible facial and emotional scars I suffered. It is a relief now that I have the settlement which means that I will be able to continue to receive the help I now need.”
Mum-of-three Sharon Girgenti’s home was badly damaged in the explosion which happened in the house four doors away.
Sharon, 54, said: “This has been the most horrific experience of our lives. Although we have to be thankful we are still here to tell the tale nothing can replace what we have lost or what we have been through.
“It has been stressful and worrying time wondering whether we would be able move back to the street or not but we are glad to be back now.
“Hopefully now that we have received the settlements we can start to move on with our lives. I am very grateful to all the support, guidance and expert knowledge that was provided by Irwin Mitchell.
“We would both like to express our thanks to Sabrina not only for her professionalism but for her genuine kindness and understanding regarding our dreadful experience.”
Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in serious injury claims.