Update on fatal Clayton-le-Woods explosion after investigators rule out gas supply cause
The explosion and fire which killed a 57-year-old man at his home in Clayton-le-Woods on Friday (October 15 was not caused by any issue with the gas supply, say investigators.
Carl Whalley, 57, died after a suspected explosion at his semi-detached home in Kirkby Avenue at around 1.30pm on Friday (October 15).
Over the weekend, Cadent - which operates and maintains the gas distribution network - completed its investigation into whether an issue with the local gas supply might have caused the fire.
The company has today confirmed that all "gas mains and service pipes" in the area are in safe working order and has concluded that the gas supply "did not contribute to or cause the explosion".
Cadent said it has reported its findings to Lancashire Police, who are now leading the investigation into what caused the fatal explosion and fire in Kirkby Avenue.
The force told the Post it will provide an update on the investigation and its possible cause later today.
Jenny Moten, director of Cadent’s North West Network said: "As the gas emergency service, we have supported the emergency response to an incident in Clayton-le-Woods on Friday, October 15.
"The thoughts of everyone at Cadent are with those affected by the incident.
"Following a thorough investigation, we can confirm that the gas mains and service pipes in the area are sound and did not contribute to or cause the explosion in Kirkby Avenue.
"The matter now lies with the police for further investigation."
The Post can also reveal that Mr Whalley contacted our newspaper in March 2017, claiming he had been the target of a bomb threat and feared for his life.
He told a reporter a man had threatened to "fire bomb" his house. You can read more about Mr Whalley's allegations in the story here.
Carl Whalley was found fatally injured inside the semi-detached home at around 1.30pm on Friday (October 15).
A joint investigation into the cause of the incident is being led by Lancashire Police with support from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service.
In a statement issued on Sunday, his devastated family said: "Carl was a much loved member of the family, we are all devastated by this tragedy and no amount of time will lessen the pain that we are all going through, he was the centre of our world and it has been ripped apart."
Charlotte, Carl's daughter, added: "Everything I do in my life I do to make my Mum and Dad proud. I want to carry on in my Dad’s footsteps and make sure that his legacy lives on forever. He taught me everything I know and my life will never be the same without him."
DCI Zoe Russo of Lancashire Police said: "Our investigation into the incident, which we now know was a house fire, is in its early stages and we our working with Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and associated partner agencies to establish the cause of the incident.
"I would also appeal to anyone who hasn’t yet spoken to police and has any information they think may assist us in our investigation to please contact us. I would particularly like to hear from anyone who has CCTV of the surrounding area to get in touch.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact 101 quoting log reference 0756 of October 15. Independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted 0800 555 111.
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