Probe continues into gas blast at Flintshire farm yard

Reporter:

Lois Hough

INVESTIGATIONS are continuing into the cause of a huge fire which ripped through a farm building.

Farmer John Arrowsmith had a lucky escape after he turned on the light in an outbuilding at Elm Farm, Alltami, last Tuesday and the building exploded.

Nearby homes were evacuated and a 200-metre exclusion zone was set up around the farm amid fears of further blasts.

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service have now confirmed the fire was caused by a gas blast, but the source of the gas remains a mystery.

Last week the Leader reported that Wales and West Utilities, who had been monitoring a gas main at the site for two weeks before the fire, denied responsibility for the blaze.

A spokesman said: “Wales and West Utilities have carried out a full investigation into the cause of the fire.

“Gas from Wales and West Utilities was not to blame for the fire.

“We cannot comment on other supplies of gas on the property.”

However workmen from Wales and West are still carrying out investigations at the scene.

Mr Arrowsmith, who miraculously escaped without injury, was said he could not understand why workmen were still on his land.

He said: “If they are not to blame for the fire then why are they digging up my fields? I can’t see why they need to be here.”

A spokesman for Wales and West Utilities added: “Wales and West Utilities is as a matter of course carrying out a survey of the main and the surrounding area.

“Investigations have revealed a number of potential fuel sources and an expert company has taken samples for analysis and they will report back to us.

“We are extremely grateful for the patience and support of the property owner while we are carrying out further investigations.”

A spokesman for the North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said the cause of the fire was “ignition of a flammable vapour of gas by an electrical switch.”

See full story in the Leader

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