Scotland gas explosion: Four in hospital after ‘big bang’ in Ayr that left house destroyed

‘Early yesterday evening there was a row of houses and now there is a hole’

Holly Bancroft
Tuesday 19 October 2021 11:07
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<p>The scene of the blast in Ayr shows a house raised to the ground after a suspected gas explosion </p>

The scene of the blast in Ayr shows a house raised to the ground after a suspected gas explosion

Two adults and two children are in hospital following a massive explosion that raised a house to the ground in Ayrshire, Scotland.

The blast, which locals described as like a bomb going off, damaged four homes at Gorse Park in Kincaidston, Ayr, on Monday evening.

Multiple police cars, ambulances and fire crews rushed to the scene at Gorse Park at around 7:10pm and inquiries are still ongoing to establish the cause of the blast.

Local residents described the surrounding areas as “like a scene from a movie” and reported that one house “has disappeared”, with those on either side of the property also severely damaged.

Local councillor Chris Cullen told BBC Radio Scotland that the blast had been caused by a gas explosion. He described the scene as “quite harrowing actually.

“Early yesterday evening there was a row of houses and now there is a hole,” he said. “Two-and-a-half houses are missing. It is quite shocking how far the debris has fallen and the damage it has caused.”

The area has now been evacuated and Mr Cullen said it could be up to 10 days before people would be allowed to return to their homes. Rest centres and shelters gave been set up to care for those who have been displaced.

Ex-army man Kerr McCann said he was arriving home when he saw a “massive plume of fire” in the sky nearby. He said: “Immediately after I felt a big bang. I knew it was an explosion. I was in the army so I know what explosions are.

“I ran up, about a quarter of a mile away... There was fire in the back garden and pretty much in where the house was.

“The house was not where it was, it was scattered about the street.”

He said “the whole house has disappeared”, adding: “the gable end of the other house is opened up and there’s cars with windows put in from the shrapnel.”

Residents have been evacuated from the area around the site of the blast in Kincaidston. An air ambulance was called out as part of the response to the incident

One woman, 20, who lives a short distance away from the site of the blast, said she saw smashed-up cars and debris strewn across the road. “It was like a scene from a movie,” she said. “It didn’t feel like real life. I live a ten-minute walk away so came down to see what was going on. I heard this really low bang and felt a thud.

“I could see cars with their windscreens and roofs smashed in, bricks lying about near the street where it happened.

“It’s just shocking to see, I’ve never seen so many emergency services in my life. Everyone is just hoping and praying.”

Siobhian Brown, the MSP for Ayr, Prestwick and Troon, urged people to avoid the area. She wrote on her Facebook page: “Our thoughts are with those affected in the Kincaidston area as we hear reports of an explosion.

“Please avoid the area if you can and let the emergency services do their jobs.”

One entrepreneur in the area has set up a JustGiving page to raise money for those affected by the blast. The message on the page read: “I am a local business owner and also run a CIC focused on mental wellbeing. One of our team members lives in the estate with her family and their, and many other families’, homes have been substantially damaged by the blast.”

A spokesman for Scottish Gas Networks said on Tuesday morning: “At around 8pm last night we received a request to assist the emergency services following the reports of a serious explosion in Gorse Park, Ayr.

“We understand four people are being treated at a local hospital and our thoughts are with them and their families.

“Our engineers are continuing to work with the emergency services to ensure the immediate vicinity is made safe in our role as the gas emergency service.

“While it is too early to speculate as to what has happened, we are working closely with the authorities to help discover the cause.”

People have been urged to avoid the area as emergency services work to contain the damage

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Four houses have been affected by the explosion. Two adults and two children have been taken to Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock.

“A number of premises have been evacuated and two local rest centres have been set up to assist.

“Local road closures are in place and we would advise people to avoid the area at the present time.”

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