The cause of the explosion that ripped apart a Victorian terrace in Stanley Road, south Harrow, on Wednesday continues to baffle the authorities. The body of a man who died has been removed, and with no trace of a gas leak thus far discovered, police are now investigating whether the blast was detonated deliberately in a quite brazen, albeit successful, act of murder.
As more details emerge, some warming anecdotes have come to light. In an act of heroism perhaps at odds with his general line of employment, a gravedigger for Harrow council has been praised for disinterring a teenage girl from the rubble.
Andrew Haynes was one of the first people to arrive on the scene following the blast, and heard the 17 year old screaming for help. Spying an arm sticking out of a pile of bricks, he began to dig her out, and was soon assisted by two other men. The trio were able to remove her before the ambulance arrived to whisk her off to hospital.
Despite suffering serious injuries and burns to 20% of her body, the girl is expected to make a full recovery. A 26 year old man is also in hospital with severe head trauma, but for an explosion that destroyed two houses and seriously damaged a third, there were, thankfully, relatively few casualties.
Image courtesy of Barry Salter's Flickrstream