Liverpool

Wirral blast: Ten New Ferry properties face demolition

Wirral blast
Image caption The council has reduced the cordon around the blast site

Ten properties badly damaged in a suspected gas blast may be demolished.

Two people were seriously hurt and 31 others injured in the explosion in New Ferry, Wirral on 25 March.

Wirral Council said 15 buildings would be repaired and it was "closely assessing" the other properties, which include a restaurant and a butchers.

It said it planned to make a decision in the next couple of weeks and if it decided to demolish them it would do so quickly as they were "unstable".

The authority said numbers 1 to 9 Underley Terrace, 2-8 Boundary Road and 45-55 Bebington Road would be repaired.

However, it said it has yet to be decided what will happen to those between 56 and 74 Bebington Road.

'Mutual decision'

David Ball, Wirral Council's assistant director of environmental services, said discussions on those properties were continuing with owners and insurance companies, with a meeting set with them for mid-May.

"If demolition is the outcome, then the council want to move in fairly quickly and demolish them as they are unstable at the moment, and we can't open the road and the pedestrian areas into the shops until those buildings have been removed or dealt with," he said.

"Making a decision about the future of a property is of course a very big thing for the people who own or live in those buildings, so we've been working closely with everyone involved to come to a mutual and sensible decision wherever we can."

The council has reduced the cordon around the properties affected with only the most badly damaged still sealed off.

Merseyside Police said it was continuing to work with specialists to identify the explosion's cause.

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