New Ferry explosion: Shop owner Pascal Blasio in court

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Wirral blast
Image caption,
Several buildings collapsed in the blast

A shop owner accused of causing an explosion that destroyed a number of buildings and left 31 people injured has appeared in court.

Two people were seriously hurt in the blast in New Ferry in March 2017.

Pascal Blasio, 56, of Gillingham, Kent, appeared at Wirral Magistrates' Court charged with causing an explosion likely to endanger life.

Mr Blasio, the owner of a furniture shop on the explosion site, will appear at Liverpool Crown Court on 2 May.

About 20 members of the public attended the short hearing, where Mr Blasio was released on unconditional bail.

Representatives for company Contract Natural Gas, based in Harrogate, Yorkshire, also appeared in court charged with failing to discharge general health and safety duty to a person other than an employee.

The company is accused of failing to ensure the redundant live gas service to the Homes in Style store was disconnected after a meter was removed.

No pleas were entered to the charges.

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