York & North Yorkshire

Haxby fatal gas explosion homes to be rebuilt

Gas explosion Haxby
Image caption The blast completely destroyed Mr Wilmott's home and severely damaged neighbouring properties

Three houses destroyed in a gas explosion which left one man dead are to be rebuilt.

Paul Wilmott, 63, died in the blast at his detached home in Springwood, Haxby, near York, on 19 February.

An investigation said the explosion was caused by a gas pipe that fractured after floor slabs shifted, possibly because of the recent wet weather.

Planning applications have been submitted to rebuild Mr Wilmott's home and two adjacent properties.

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The blast on 19 February completely destroyed Mr Wilmott's home, damaged neighbouring properties and left debris strewn across the road and gardens. Mr Wilmott's body was found in the wreckage.

Image copyright North Yorkshire Police
Image caption Paul Wilmott was a specialist sound engineer from York who was described as "extremely kind"

The Health and Safety Executive and North Yorkshire Police found that a copper gas pipe, installed in the 1970s, had corroded over time and fractured at a point where two concrete floor slabs met.

This resulted in an uncontrolled gas escape which ignited, causing the explosion.

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