Pictured: Married couple fighting for life after gas pipe was cut in their home sparking blast that killed two-year-old boy in house next door
- Darren and Sharon Greenham remain in hospital after blast at Heysham home
- Police believe gas pipe was cut in their home causing explosion which destroyed the house and their neighbour’s home and killed two-year-old boy George Hinds
- George’s parents Vicky Studholme and Stephen Hinds were also injured in blast
A couple are fighting for their life after a gas pipe that police say was cut in their home sparked an explosion which killed a two-year-old boy in the house next door.
Darren and Sharon Greenham remain in hospital after the blast at their home on Sunday, May 16, which caused two homes to collapse.
The explosion, in Heysham, Lancashire, also left neighbours Stephen Hinds and Vicki Studholme injured and killed their two-year-old son George.
Lancashire Police said detectives and gas experts had discovered the cause of the explosion was a gas pipe which had been cut inside number 20 Mallowdale Avenue – the home of Darren, 44, and 50-year-old Sharon Greenham.
The force said it was now treating the probe as a criminal investigation and inquiries continue into how the pipe came to be cut.
George’s parents, who live in neighbouring 18 Mallowdale Avenue, have since been discharged from hospital.
In a heartbreaking tribute shared on Facebook, his father Stephen wrote: ‘Words can’t describe what the last week has done to me and Vicki.
Pictured: Darren and Sharon Greenham are fighting for their lives after a gas explosion at their home in Heysham, Lancashire, which police believe was caused by a pipe which had been cut
Emergency workers at the scene of the explosion, in which two-year-old George Arthur Hinds was killed and Darren and Sharon Greenham were seriously injured in Heysham, Lancashire
‘The tears haven’t stopped. At 5.15am Sunday morning my little boy was pronounced dead after two hours 15 minutes trying to bring him back.
‘Nothing I can say or do will bring him back, I really wish I could. Why didn’t it happen to me and keep him playing here with his mum?
‘Every day this week has been a new challenge and to go from seeing my two-year-old beautiful boy from playing in the garden, to a week later planning his funeral in his new 3ft bed, is unreal.
Please everyone don’t take life for granted and look after your kids and yourselves. I really mean that.
‘My little angel George sleep tight son, mummy and daddy is with you always. Love you so so so so much x.’
Stephen later shared a video of him reading his son a book about animals with the caption: ‘My little boy.’
George Arthur Hinds, aged two years and 10 months, was killed by the blast on Mallowdale Avenue in Heysham, Lancashire, and police have since launched a criminal investigation
The homes in Heysham (pictured in 2016) where Darren and Sharon Greenham lived (right) and Stephen Hinds and Vicki Studholme lived with son George (left) in Mallowdale Avenue
A fundraiser set up to help the residents of Mallowdale Avenue has now brought in more than £50,000.
Lancashire Police said in a statement: ‘Detectives, assisted by gas experts, have been carrying out a fingertip search of the scene following the explosion and have now identified the cause of the explosion as a gas pipe which had been cut inside No. 20, Mallowdale Avenue.
‘Enquiries are ongoing into how and why the pipe came to be severed – enquiries which are likely to take some considerable time. The police enquiry is now being classed as a criminal investigation.’
Emergency services had been called to the scene on Mallowdale Avenue at about 2.40am on Sunday, May 16. Officers found two houses collapsed, and a third property had suffered ‘serious damage’.
A heartbreaking tribute shared by Stephen Hinds on his Facebook page after his son’s death
Emergency workers at the scene on Mallowdale Ave Heysham, on Sunday May 16
An aerial view of the devastation caused by the gas explosion in Heysham on Sunday May 16
Detective Chief Insp Jane Webb, of the Force Major Investigation Team, said: ‘My thoughts first and foremost remain with George’s family and loved ones at this time, as well as those others affected by this incident.
‘An incredible amount of work has been done at the scene in a relatively short space of time and as well as identifying the source of the explosion we have also managed to recover some items of George’s, which I know means a lot to his parents.
‘Our focus now is on trying to establish how and why the pipe inside No. 20 came to be cut and those enquiries are complex and lengthy.
‘I would like to thank the community for their help so far and I want to continue to appeal to anyone who may have information which could assist our investigation to come forward and contact us.
‘Even if you think the information you have is insignificant or irrelevant please tell us and we can be the judge.’
Police have now completed their forensic examination of the scene and it has been handed over to the local authority, the force has said.
Fundraiser for blast raises £51,000
A fundraiser set up in the wake of the blast that killed a young child and destroyed three houses has raised more than £50,000.
Residents of Mallowdale Avenue in Heysham, Lancashire, were woken in the early hours of May 16 by an explosion which left nearby streets and fields covered with debris.
Heather Brandwood set up a GoFundMe appeal after seeing the explosion on the news.
She said: ‘Although we don’t know any of the people personally, we don’t need to know someone’s name or face to help them.
‘People have really pulled together as a community, it’s really humbling. Anything we can do that might relieve a bit of pressure and a little bit of stress for those involved is worth doing.’
Ms Brandwood said: ‘The general public has been fantastic.
‘There are a lot of people who want to do good, but they don’t know how to go about doing it, so by putting something in place, they always rise to the challenge.
‘There is a lot of goodwill in Morecambe.’
Donations can be made here.
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