Wales

Pontypool explosion: Man is killed in garage blast

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Media captionEyewitnesses said a garage door was sent flying across the street in the explosion

A man has died in an explosion at a garage in a "quiet" residential street in south Wales.

Gwent Police said it received reports of an explosion at a garage in the Coed Camlas area of Pontypool, Torfaen, at about 11:10 BST on Monday.

Officers have confirmed that a man was pronounced dead at the scene.

A police cordon around the area has been extended, with fire and ambulance teams also at the scene. Engineers have already ruled out a gas explosion.

In a statement Gwent Police said the cause of death and formal identity were still being established.

"At this moment in time it is too early to confirm whether the death is suspicious," said a force official.

"Emergency services including South Wales Fire and Rescue and South Wales Ambulance are currently on the scene and will remain for the rest of the day.

"As there has been significant damage caused to the premises, a cordon is still in place."

Image caption Investigations into the cause of the explosion are ongoing
Image caption Witnesses described the garage doors being "blown off" and drain pipes meltin

One eyewitness described "a boom" and said the "garage was gone".

"I heard a loud noise, first it was a bang and then it was a boom, then the house sort of shook," said neighbour Pauline McKane.

"It was just ablaze, it was unbelievable. Within minutes, the garage had gone."

Another resident said the garage door at the property had been blown across the street.

Image caption Neighbour Annette Jackson was at home in the street when the explosion happened

Neighbour Annette Jackson said it was a quiet street with most people working when she heard the blast.

"I was at the back of the house in the garden and I heard a loud explosion and I came running out," she said.

"You could see the flames coming out of the garage - about 5ft high in the air - and lots of black smoke."

One couple, who did not want to be named, said the explosion had damaged their son's property, next door to where the garage explosion happened.

Image caption Police have cordoned off part of Coed Camlas after the explosion

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service has sent an additional engine and an aerial platform to the incident.

An official at Wales & West Utilities said they had also sent an engineer to the scene.

"The explosion was not related to the mains gas network," said Steve Williams, the gas emergency services manager for the utility firm.

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