Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Andover house explosion: Man who died named by police

Collapsed building Image copyright Andy Phillips
Image caption The roof of the property collapsed in the blast

A man who died in a "devastating" gas explosion has been named by police.

The body of James Kirkby, 48, was found in the wreckage of the property in Launcelot Close, Andover, following the blast at about 02:30 GMT on Thursday.

Police said no other injuries were reported and all those living in the house had been accounted for.

A cordon around the site has been reduced but specialist officers remain at the scene investigating the cause of the explosion.

Ch Insp Kory Thorne said: "We know this has had an impact on the local community and we're grateful to our partners who have supported those evacuated from the adjoining terrace.

"The process of searching the site safely and establishing the exact circumstances of what happened is likely to take some time.

"While this takes place, we would ask people not to speculate on the details of this incident."

Image copyright Andy Phillips
Image caption The explosion happened in Launcelot Close, Andover, at about 02:30 GMT on Thursday

Neighbours said they were awoken by a "loud bang" in the early hours.

One resident, William Cooper, described looking out of his window and seeing "loads of rubble" and the "skeleton of a house".

Gas firm SGN joined emergency services on site to isolate supplies and help identify the cause.

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