Irlam gas blast: Victims receive 'undisclosed settlements'

The scene of the explosion in Salford Two hundred homes were damaged in the explosion in Merlin Road, Irlam

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Five people who were injured in a gas blast that destroyed three homes and damaged 200 more in Salford have received "undisclosed settlements".

The explosion ripped through Merlin Street, Irlam, in November 2010.

Solicitors Irwin Mitchell said the compensation would help with their recovery.

In April, gas fitter Paul Kay, who carried out work on a house on the street, was fined £1,000 after admitting breaching the Gas Safety Act.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found Mr Kay, from Warrington, had disconnected the house's gas supply and moved the meter, leaving it unsupported on a pile of bricks.

'Psychological impact'

Safety experts concluded this exacerbated an existing weakness in the pipe caused by work carried out several years earlier and allowed gas to seep into Marie Burns' house overnight.

The HSE said the 75-year-old had ignited the gas by turning on her oven on.

Mrs Burns said the past three years had been "the most traumatic of my life, something I don't think I'll ever get over".

"I was in a coma for three months and when I woke up, I had to deal with really painful injuries and the fact I'd lost everything I owned".

She added that receiving the settlement was "a relief".

Irwin Mitchell's Sabrina McCarron said the five people compensated had "suffered hugely since the disaster, both physically and mentally".

"[They] are still really coming to terms with the serious injuries they suffered, as well as the psychological impact of losing their homes and many of their belongings.

"Thankfully now that we have secured the settlements, they can continue to access the necessary therapies and support to help them overcome the trauma."

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