Two injured in Buckfastleigh explosion

25 March 2019, 10:54 | Updated: 25 March 2019, 11:00

The elderly victim of a suspected gas explosion in Devon has been left with 30% burns from head to foot.

It’s reported that 65-year old Marilyn Rice was brushing her teeth when the blast destroyed her bungalow in Buckfastleigh.

She was taken to hospital in Bristol with serious burns while a neighbour was treated for minor injuries.

The cause of the explosion is still under investigation, but officials from Wales and West Utilities say there is no evidence of any gas mains leak.

Two other homes were damaged by the blast with their occupants allowed back to retrieve some personal items, they have been found emergency accommodation.

Neighbours reported a massive bang around 8am on Saturday, some thinking that is was a plane that had crashed.

There was no fire and neighbours claim it as a miracle that no one was killed.

Police and fire services are still investigating the cause of the explosion. 

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said: 'Enquires remain ongoing to establish the cause of a gas explosion in Buckfastleigh.

"Emergency services were called at 7.50am on Saturday 23 March to a property in Barn Park, following reports of a gas explosion.

"One female in her 70s sustained burns and was taken to hospital. She remains in hospital in Bristol at this time.

"A second person was treated for minor injuries at the scene. Other nearby residents have been evacuated while the building was being made safe.

"Police and Devon Fire and Rescue Service and partners are currently working to establish the cause.

"Anyone with information relating to the incident is asked to contact police on 101 quoting log 216 23/3/19.'

A spokesperson for Wales & West Utilities added: "We were alerted to reports of an explosion at a property in Barn Park, Buckfastleigh this morning and immediately sent a team of engineers to the scene.

"We are supporting the emergency services as they investigate the cause of the explosion, but can confirm that it was not caused by the mains gas network."