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Girl killed in gas blast named as Sahara Salman

A terraced house collapsed after the explosion in Thornton Heath on Monday morning.

10 August 2022

A young girl killed in a gas explosion in south London has been named locally as Sahara Salman.

Sahara, believed to have been four years old, died after a terraced house collapsed in Galpin’s Road, Thornton Heath, shortly after 7am on Monday.

Three other people were injured in the blast.

Thornton Heath incident
The terraced home collapsed after an explosion and fire on Monday (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Police at the scene on Wednesday morning said the gas supply to the road has been turned off, and they are waiting for the gas to dissipate before allowing residents to return to their homes.

Six to eight homes were damaged by the blast, but around 80 homes were evacuated after the cordon was extended on Tuesday over fears for residents’ safety.

The council has provided assistance to more than 200 residents, including helping with food and accommodation.

Residents are likely to be in hotels for weeks.

Merton Council leader Ross Garrod said the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) told him the situation had not stabilised since the explosion and criticised insurance companies for “refusing basic accommodation” for those affected.

Thornton Heath incident
Gas engineers at the scene (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Speaking on Tuesday evening, Mr Garrod said: “Firstly, I would like to say that the thoughts of everyone remain with the family of the young girl who tragically lost her life.

“This morning the Health and Safety Executive attended Galpin’s Road to begin investigations.

“Southern Gas Networks (SGN) also remain on site.

“The HSE immediately advised that the cordon be extended to 200 metres.

“There is still a strong smell of gas and we understand the leak may take some days to stop.

“I would like to stress that this is a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of residents.

“We are also facing real challenges, not least among the response of insurance companies, many of whom are refusing basic accommodation for homeowners. This is unacceptable.”

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