Probe under way after three hurt in gas blast

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The Independent Online

A police cordon is in place after a gas explosion in Bristol in which three men were injured.

A man in his 50s suffered burns to his groin, arms and face after the blast at a warehouse owned by BOC gas in Whitby Road, Bristol, at about 2.45pm on Thursday.



Great Western Ambulance Service said the explosion happened as the man was capping a canister of acetylene gas.



He was taken to the specialist burns unit at Frenchay Hospital. Two other men, thought to be in their 40s and 50s, were taken to Bristol Royal Infirmary, one with minor burns to his neck and the other with concussion and hearing problems.



A 220 yard (200m) area around the site is still closed as a precaution while firefighters ensure there is no risk of further explosions.



The nearby Avon Meads retail and leisure park was evacuated on Thursday night along with nearby industrial units. Rail services were also affected as the main line between Bristol Temple Meads and London Paddington runs through the exclusion zone.



Services to Bath were suspended and replaced by bus services while other services were diverted to Bristol Parkway. First Great Western said all services were resumed at 1am and are now running again with delays, as trains have to pass through the cordon area with caution.



Avon Fire and Rescue Service said it has begun an investigation and Health and Safety Executive inspectors are to visit the site.



BOC - formerly known as the British Oxygen Company - supplies gases, chemicals and equipment to companies worldwide.



BOC said on Thursday: "BOC would like to express its concern for those who have been injured. Our emergency shutdown procedure was initiated and our deluge system activated to control the fire. BOC very much regrets the inconvenience that has been caused to the local community."

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