Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


Explosion in house

Cloes Lane, Clacton
05/02/2014 @ 08:27
Incident Number: 1980
In attendance: 1 x Clacton, 1 x Weeley, 1 x Colchester, 1 x USAR

Firefighters have been called to an explosion in a house.

The house is on fire and there are multiple casualties reported.

At 09:00 hrs, the incident commander reports two semi detached houses have been affected by the blast causing a gas fuelled fire, which is being allowed to burn under control. Numerous other properties have been affected  by flying debris and are being evacuated. Firefighters are searching the rubble and dealing with multiple casualties with various injuries. There are still people unaccounted for.

The area is being cordoned off and people are being asked to avoid the vicinity so that emergency crews can do their work.

At 09:43 HRS, Assistant Divisional Officer Lee Palfreyman, incident commander, reports five people have been taken to hospital, one with life threatening injuries. Five people are being assessed on scene by ambulance paramedics.

"The blast flattened two houses and badly damaged a third. Debris flew in all directions damaging windows and roofs. Crews are continuing their work at the scene. The evacuation of properties is now complete and the Gas Board are in attendance assessing the scene."

At 10:18 hrs, search dogs, including Darcy ECFRS' fire dog, are being used to ensure everyone has been accounted for and no casualties remain buried.

A press centre has been established at the second Police cordon in Cloes Lane. Media agencies should contact Sarah Thapa who will arrange interviews with Assistant Chief Fire Officer Paul Hill, fire service spokesman.

Cloes Lane is closed between B1027 St John's Road and Douglas Road. Flatford Drive has also been closed.

Update 10:24hrs - The incident commander has confirmed that the gas supply has been isolated and firefighting operations have commenced. Crews are using one ground monitor - an unmanned hose jet - and one main jet to extinguish the fire.

Update: 11:10hrs: East of England Ambulance have confirmed that 10 people have been taken to hospital from the scene.

Update 11:16 hrs: Assistant Chief Fire Officer Paul Hill said a fire investigation is already under way to establish the cause of the incident and he could not speculate on the outcome. However, he said, it appears gas was involved and he stressed the importance of maintaining gas appliances using the incident to highlight the devastating impact of an incident where gas is involved. "The power of an explosion fuelled by gas can be seen here and in the neighbouring streets - it is immense," he said.

Update 11:27 hrs: Statement from Essex Police:

Police have evacuated 19 properties in relation to the explosion in Clacton.

These include ten properties in Cloes Lane, where the explosion occurred, and nine in the road immediately behind the affected property.

There are ten casualties. One is in a life-threatening condition, two are in a severe condition.

The other seven are walking wounded, including one young teenager.

The electricity is going to be turned off and will affect the whole street for some time.

Anyone who is concerned about friends or relatives can contact Essex Police on 101, extension 489803.

Update 11:30 hrs: Crews report their work at the scene is coming to an end.

Update 12:00 hrs:


A reception centre has been set up in Clacton Town Hall for residents evacuated from their homes following an explosion in Clacton today.

Tendring District Council (TDC) has been asked to take 13 people who live in properties affected by the explosion.

TDC staff are currently preparing the reception centre ready for the arrival of the residents who were previously taken to St Clare’s Roman Catholic Primary School and the Brace of Pistols pub.

The evacuees will be brought to Clacton Town Hall by minibus with the transport being arranged by Essex County Council.

The Council will also be providing advice and guidance – and assistance where appropriate – to people who are made homeless due to the incident.

For info on this release, contact Nigel Brown, Tendring District Council’s Communications Manager on 01255 686338.

High res photos can be download from our here Photos must be credited to Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.

Incident Images

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