Pipe theft caused Mirfield gas explosion

A house was badly damaged in an explosion caused by a gas leak after thieves stole copper piping from outside the West Yorkshire property.

Neighbouring homes were evacuated following the explosion at the house on Hepworth Lane, Mirfield, at 0600 GMT on Saturday.

The blast was triggered when the woman, 53, in the house at the time turned on the kitchen light. She was uninjured.

Copper pipe fixing the gas meter to the boiler had been stolen, police said.

The rear of the house was badly damaged.

'Very lucky'

The fire service, police, gas company and structural engineers were called to the scene.

Traffic was diverted while the gas supply to the area was cut to ensure safety.

People evacuated were able to return to their homes by 1130 GMT.

Det Con Paul Greatorex said: "This incident could have been a lot more serious and the occupant of the house has been very lucky to escape uninjured.

"Whoever has taken this copper piping has clearly neglected to think of not only their own safety, but also that of innocent people in the area."

"I am therefore appealing for anyone with any information on this incident, or anybody who has witnessed any people looking for, or trying to obtain, scrap metal in and around the Mirfield area over the last few days to get in contact."

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