Mother of girl killed in London gas explosion says world is ‘torn apart’ | british news

The mother of a young girl who died in a gas explosion in London has shared how her world was “torn apart” when she accused a gas distribution company of failing to carry out repairs.

Sahara Salman died Monday, a month before her fifth birthday, while three people were seriously injured as a result of a house collapsing after the explosion in Croydon. Her mother, Sana Ahmad, said on Tuesday that she contacted the supplier, Southern Gas Networks (SGN), about a suspected leak on July 30.

About the moment of the explosion and its aftermath, she told the Evening Standard: “I had two children in my room and then Sahara in the guest room, and my oldest in the room towards the garden. My room faces the main road.

“My instinct was to grab all my kids, but when I walked into the hallway, Sahara’s room had already collapsed. There was no sign that I could even reach her. The explosion was so bad that it almost fell as if rockets were being dropped on the property. That’s how quickly the building started to collapse.”

Sahara was due to start school in September. Her mother said: “The world is so cruel. We have lost our daughter who is our pride and joy.”

Ahmad said she called SGN after her mother discovered a scent and someone from the company came the next day to investigate, but they said there were no major problems.

“He said he would send another man taller than him to inspect the property because he wasn’t quite sure. Unfortunately, that other man never showed up. The work has not been completed in full. They told us there were a lot of small gas leaks – they said the pipes were leaking, but they were small leaks.”

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SGN has been contacted for comment on the claims, but a company spokesperson has separately said it is currently limited in what it can say due to an ongoing police investigation.

He added: “We understand that the local community has also been deeply affected by the serious incident and we want to reassure everyone that we are working closely with investigators and assisting the emergency services.”

Six to eight houses were damaged by the explosion. About 80 homes were evacuated after the cordon was extended Tuesday over fears for the safety of residents.

On Wednesday morning, Merton City Council confirmed that the 200m cordon would remain in place on the advice of the Health and Safety Executive.

Police later asked for patience from the local community as the investigation continues. Acting Southwestern Unit Commander Supt Richard Smith said: “Officers, along with the Health and Safety Executive, are working diligently to ensure that the cause of this incident is determined and that it is safe for residents who have been displaced. to return to their homes.

“It’s difficult to give a definitive timetable for when this will be, but it has to be done first with the safety of the residents. I want to reassure those involved that we will do this as soon as the investigation allows.

“The patience and understanding of local residents and the wider community in Mitcham and Thornton Heath is greatly appreciated while this work is underway.”

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