Merthyr homes evacuated after gas cylinder blast

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About 100 homes were evacuated after gas cylinders exploded during a garage fire in Merthyr Tydfil.

Around 47 residents spent the night in a local leisure centre after the incident in the Twynrodyn area at 2145 GMT on Tuesday.

Fire-fighters imposed a 200m safety cordon in Woodland Terrace as they tried to keep a cylinder cool.

Residents were allowed back into their homes at 0900 GMT.

Families were first moved to a local school before being taken to Rhydycar Leisure Centre while three fire crews tackled the fire.

Residents described hearing at least two blasts before people went into the street to investigate.

One woman, who didn't want to be named, said she saw the garage on fire along with a van.

"There was a big bang," she said. "We weren't allowed near the area.

'Stored safely'

"I wasn't evacuated because I didn't live too close but some people were moved to the school and then spent the night in the leisure centre."

Paul Mason, station manager at New Inn for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: "A further inspection of the incident took place at 0900hrs this morning and the cylinder was deemed safe, enabling us to remove the cordons and allow all residents to return to their homes.

"South Wales Fire and Rescue Service in conjunction with South Wales Police are investigating the cause of the fire and would remind members of the public to ensure all cylinders are stored safely."

The road is still partially closed as water used to douse the area has frozen.