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Gas cylinder explosion causes mass evacuation

05 October 2011

Emergency workers evacuated around 3,000 people from their homes as a blaze tore through a mechanic's yard containing a number of explosive gas cylinders.

Gas cylinder explosion causes mass evacuation
Gas cylinder explosion causes mass evacuation

Around 30 firefighters and six fire engines were called to the fire, which started in a storage area at a car workshop in Kenton Lane, Harrow, north-west London.

One gas cylinder exploded before London Fire Brigade arrived but no one was injured in the blast.

Police, council staff and fire officials evacuated families from around 600 nearby homes amid fears that the intense heat would cause other canisters to explode.

It is believed that there were around 25 gas cylinders at the site, including a number of propane cylinders and around five acetylene cylinders.

Firefighters from Stanmore, Harrow, Mill Hill, Wembley and Hendon fire stations attended the scene and brought the fire under control.

Northolt Station Manager Turan Turan said: "There was quite a large explosion but fortunately it was contained within the storage area. The explosion and fire caused extensive damage but no one was injured. It was a difficult job but crews worked incredibly hard to prevent the fire from spreading and managed to cool down the other gas cylinders and in doing so prevented further potential explosions."

A probe into the cause of the blaze, which destroyed the storage area and damaged six cars and around 100 tyres, has been launched by fire investigators.

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