Police ‘cautiously optimistic’ of no further victims of Bedford flat explosion

·2 min read

Police are “cautiously optimistic” there will be no more victims of an explosion at a block of flats.

Some nearby residents affected by Monday’s blast and subsequent fire at the three-storey building in Redwood Grove, Bedford, have begun returning to their homes after being evacuated.

Bedfordshire Police said they have recovered the body of the person known to have died in the incident, with a post-mortem examination set for Friday.

The force believe there are no other victims “unaccounted for”.

Bedford gas blast
Some nearby residents have returned to their homes (Doug Peters/PA)

A large part of the block of 20 flats, which has seen part of the roof destroyed, remains unsafe, with officers warning it will be some time before a full examination and investigations are carried out.

Six neighbouring flats also remain unsafe to live in, but residents of an adjacent block of 78 flats have been able to return home.

Floral tributes left for the victim were moved closer to the flats after a cordon was removed, police said.

Bedford gas blast
Floral tributes have been left for the victim (Doug Peters/PA)

Chief Superintendent John Murphy, from Bedfordshire Police, said: “This remains an incredibly complex investigation, which will take some time to carry out.

“However, we’ve been working hard to get as many residents back into their homes as possible, and I’d like to thank everyone who has been impacted for their patience and understanding at this difficult time.

“While we cannot currently physically enter the building to carry out a proper search, based on our investigations so far, and the information we have received, we do not believe there is anybody else unaccounted for, either as residents or visitors.

“It is a tragedy that one person has lost their life and our thoughts are very much with their loved ones.

“However, it’s welcome that we can be cautiously optimistic that there will be no further victims.”

The explosion’s cause is being investigated by forensic teams, though it has been confirmed there was no mains gas supply into the building.

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