Police have confirmed a four-year-old girl has tragically been found dead after a massive gas explosion obliterated a house today.
Three people are fighting for life in hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries after four were rescued from the rubble of the blast in Galpin’s Road, Thornton heath.
The London Fire Brigade this afternoon confirmed a child’s body was found and she was pronounced dead at the scene, with rescue workers being offered counselling.
And in a heartbreaking update, the Metropolitan Police officially confirmed the devastating news, saying: “Police were called shortly after 7am on Monday, 8 August following reports of a fire and explosion at a residential property in Galpin’s Road, Mitcham.
“London Fire Brigade attended and the body of a child, believed to be a four-year-old girl, was recovered from a building.
“Her next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specially trained officers.
“An investigation into the cause of the incident, alongside colleagues from the LFB, remains ongoing.
“Road closures will remain in place around the scene while this work continues.”
The leader of Merton Council said the incident was “devastating”.
Ross Garrod told journalists: “We’re all devastated by today’s news at the tragic death of a child as a result of a gas explosion at Galpin’s Road.
“Our thoughts and hearts are with the family affected, and I know everyone in our community will feel the same.
“Residents rightly have questions that they want answers to, and a full investigation is underway by the relevant authorities.”
He added the council has opened an evacuation centre at the New Horizons Centre in Croydon and so far had supported around 100 residents.
A resident on Galpin’s Road, where the explosion occurred, said there had been a smell of gas in the area for a week.
Charlie Camdell, 36, who lives four doors down from the blast said he was in the front room of his home on Monday morning when one of the windows shattered.
“My partner said ‘there has been a gas explosion’ because she had been smelling the gas for a few days,” he said.
“I can’t smell anything at all now. I have seen people maintaining it and they had dug into the road before it.
“For the last week or so you could really strongly smell gas.
“Someone was shouting ‘what about my child’ and they were just crying saying ‘they can’t find her body.”‘
Awais Zahir, 26, and his uncle ran out of their home after hearing a bang.
They told the Mirror that a mum who lived inside the destroyed property had called the council on Saturday complaining about the smell of gas.
Mr Zahir said: “She told the council there was a strong smell of gas. There’s been construction so we assumed that is where is was.
“You never think this could happen.”
Recalling the moment they found the house reduced to rubble, Mr Zahir said: “We just stood there in shock and awe.