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Gas workers probed over huge explosion that ripped through a home in Christchurch

Two gas workers are probed over huge explosion that ripped through a home leaving five people injured and sending roof tiles raining down on neighbouring houses

  • A home was reduced to ‘matchsticks’ in Christchurch, New Zealand in July 2019
  • Six people were rushed to hospital, one suffering critical injuries from explosion 
  • Two people have now been charged over the incident, case will be heard in court

Two gas workers have been charged over the massive explosion which ripped through a house in Christchurch, leaving six people injured.

The force of the blast in July last year sent roof tiles raining down on neighbouring houses in the suburb of Northwood, and blew bricks off a home next door. 

Six people were rushed to hospital, one suffering critical injuries. 

The home blew out, scattering roof tiles and insulation up to 100m away

Five people were injured (pictured) in a gas explosion at a home in Christchurch, which reduced the house to  matchsticks. The home blew out, scattering roof tiles and insulation up to 100m away 

Energy Safety of Worksafe NZ has been investigating cause of the devastating explosion.

On Thursday the organisation confirmed charges have been filed under the Gas Act 1992 against two defendants.

WorkSafe would not comment further on the case as it is due to be heard in the Christchurch District Court later this year.

One gas worker spoke to first responders shortly after the explosion, suggesting that police or fire investigators might want to talk to him. 

The New Zealand Herald reported residents had been experiencing issues with their gas in the lead up to the incident.

Shocking footage from the scene shows the house reduced to rubble, with the snapped timber beams of the home burning while roof tiles, guttering and insulation are seen scattered up to 100m in every direction.

Locals helped the occupants of the home get to safety before reaching for a nearby hose as they waited for emergency services to arrive.

People thought to have been inside the home are seen shortly after they were evacuated being treated by paramedics, with blankets placed over them.

The rubble was seen burning as emergency services swarmed the street and neighbours were evacuated

The rubble was seen burning as emergency services swarmed the street and neighbours were evacuated 

Emergency services flooded the street, and power was quickly turned off in the area

Emergency services flooded the street, and power was quickly turned off in the area

James Looyer, who filmed the extensive damage, said he had helped evacuate people aged between 50 and 70 from the rubble.

None could hear him, all had bloodshot eyes, and some were missing patches of skin, he said.

‘We were trying to talk to [the people there] and they were just stone cold,’ he told Stuff.

‘They were pretty much deaf, they can’t even hear anything we were saying just looking straight at us.’



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