Explosion at LHT flats

A gas explosion led to residents being evacuated from homes owned by Liverpool Housing Trust in Runcorn in the early hours of Thursday morning.

LHT said there are no reported injuries at this time and the explosion in Richard Close, Castlefields happened in a vacant property.

Thirty six properties at the block of flats were evacuated. Four vacant properties were sealed and the area has been cordoned off. Residents were accommodated at the local community centre. LHT will provide temporary hotel accommodation until they are able to return to their homes.

An investigation is underway as to the nature and the cause of the incident. The investigation includes Halton Council Building Control Surveyors, Cheshire Fire Service, Cheshire Police, Transco and LHT structural engineers, Sutcliffes and the Health & Safety Executive.

Sue Westwater, managing director of LHT, said: "We recognise how difficult this is for the residents and the families involved. We deployed our emergency procedures and have a dedicated team of officers working with residents to keep them informed and provide temporary accommodation. We will continue to listen to and work with residents.

"We are working to ensure the site is secured and safe. An investigation is currently underway and LHT will be working with the relevant authorities to establish the cause of the explosion. At this stage we are not able to comment any further on the investigation."

LHT is part of the Vicinity Group and owns more than 10,000 homes across Merseyside, Cheshire and Lancashire.

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