Video shows scale of destruction caused by blast that killed a young girl and injured three others
The girl was killed and three others were taken to hospital following the blast at a house in Thornton Heath, le lundi matin.
Video from the scene on Galpin’s Road shows the property where the girl was round razed to the ground.
Bricks, mortar and other debris can be seen strewn across the road at the front of the property and throughout its back garden.
The street was cordoned off and around 100 residents were evacuated after the explosion, which happened at around 7am.
Residents said they reported smelling gas around two weeks prior to the explosion. Others said they had recently seen engineers digging holes in the area while working.
Merton Council declared a major incident and said the explosion was caused by gas. London Fire Brigade said it is investigating.
Children have written touching tributes in chalk on the ground near the scene.
“Spread your wings” has been chalked alongside drawings of hearts and rainbows beside the police cordon at the junction of Berkshire Way and Galpin’s Road.
Several bouquets and teddies have also been left near the property, which was quiet on Tuesday morning.
The evacuated residents have been housed in nearby hotels.
Others who live within the cordoned area said on Tuesday morning they were not evacuated because they were a safe distance away, but the cordon was later extended due to high gas readings.
Locals are demanding answers on how the explosion took place.
Some grew agitated and raised their voices as they were told they would not be able to return to their homes and that workers had been unable to turn off the gas.
Reverend Deji Ayorinde, of the nearby Pollards Hill Baptist Church, mentionné: “There is anger in the room. There is anger in the community surrounding unanswered questions.”
He said there was anger that no representatives of gas companies were at the briefing to answer questions.
“This thing was reported and it still wasn’t resolved days or weeks later," il a dit.
“Who takes ownership for that? The anger has built up because it has now cost a life and that’s a catalyst for the strength of emotion around this.”
Gas supplier Southern Gas Networks said its “deepest sympathies are with the family of the child who has tragically died as well as those who have been injured”.
A spokesperson added: “We’d like to reassure everyone that our engineers are working closely with the emergency services to establish the cause of the explosion.”