South West Wales

Glynneath house explosion investigation under way

An investigation is continuing into an explosion that ripped through a terraced house in the Neath Valley, forcing homes to be evacuated.

The blast on Wednesday afternoon has completely gutted the mid-terrace property on Merthyr Road in Glynneath.

Households were offered temporary accommodation for the night as fire crews finished damping down a fire at the property.

The owners were on holiday and no-one was injured.

Fire crews initially evacuated much of the street after the blast at around 15.30 BST on Wednesday.

One witness told BBC Wales that a gas bottle was suspected to have been responsible for the explosion, which blew out windows, showering other properties with glass.

"It was an explosion and it went straight through the house, said Merthyr Road resident Annette Whatley.

"The windows blasted through straight into the street.

"The people [who live at the property] were just so lucky they weren't there."

Most of the residents evacuated during the day were allowed to return to their homes on Wednesday evening, though a small number were offered temporary accommodation.

The owners of the blast house were contacted by neighbours and returned from an Easter break to view the damage.

They were too upset to speak about the incident and are now staying with family members while the investigation into the explosion continues.

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