Thornton Heath explosion: Desperate search for person missing in rubble as pics show destroyed children’s bedroom


A DESPERATE search is underway for a missing person after a house collapsed following a horror explosion in South London at Thornton Heath.

Six fire engines and around 45 firefighters are at the scene on Galpin’s Road in Thornton Heath.

The London Fire Brigade said a terraced house had been razed to the ground amid a blast that sent debris flying hundreds of feet into the air.

Four people have been rescued but one remains in the rubble, the London Fire Brigade said.

Neighbours were evacuated from the area following the horror at around 7am this morning.

Horrifying images from the scene show scale of the devastation with numerous homes damaged in the explosion.

And one harrowing picture shows a child’s bedroom gutted by the blast – a toy can be seen on the wall.

A mum was heard screaming in the street for “my boy” amid the heart-breaking scenes, MyLondon reported.

An eyewitness who lives opposite the explosion told The Sun: “I heard a huge boom and when I opened my curtains the whole street was full of smoke.

“Straight away I heard a woman screaming for help. They were still inside the house. Everyone ran out to help her.

“The whole house was completely flattened. There is nothing left of it. It’s just a pile of rubble.

“Windows across the street have been blown out and cars are smashed up.

“They managed to get some of the children out but one child we think is still trapped underneath.

“I don’t know what’s happened to them. Their mum is still there.”

Another resident from further down the street said their door had blown open when the explosion happened.

A London Ambulance Service spokesperson said four people have been treated following the explosion in Thornton Heath , with three patients being taken to hospital.

“One was discharged on scene and three others were taken to hospital”, they said.

They remain at the scene.

The Metropolitan Police told Southamptonjournal the London Fire Brigade are leading the operation.

It is not known what caused the explosion.

Residents on the street told The Sun gas works had been taking place for “four weeks” – there is no suggestion the works have any link to the blast at this stage.

Deputy assistant commissioner and incident commander Richard Welch told reporters at the scene: “Six fire engines and around 45 fighters were called this morning to a fire and exposure on Gal Pin Road in Thornton Heath.

“A terraced house has collapsed following an explosion and neighbouring properties hr also been damaged. 

“Four people have been rescued by London Fire Brigade.

“The brigade’s 999 control officers took 14 calls to this incident. 

“The brigade was called initially at 0708 and LFB Appliances were on scene within three minutes.

“The cause of the fire and explosion is not known at this time.

“And what I can confirm is, we are still searching for one more person within the affected property.”


People who had been evacuated from Galpin’s Road in their pyjamas told how their windows had shattered from the force of the explosion.

Two neighbours, Kutoya Kukanda, 50, and Delroy Simms, 62, said they helped rescue three children from the rubble at around 7am.

But they feared a girl aged around four or five was still trapped inside.

They believed the children’s mother had been evacuated.

They said the house next door had also been badly affected by the blast.

Some residents at the cordon said they had reported a strong gas smell two weeks ago, and others said they had been feeling dizzy and sick over the last two days.

I’m very shaken – Galpin’s Road Resident

The Sun have approached relevant gas companies to clarify these claims.

Residents living nearby described hearing the explosion.

One lady who lives just a few doors down from where the blast happened wrote on Facebook: “I’m very shaken.”

Meanwhile another said: “The bang frightened the life out of me.

“I’m opposite Galpin’s, they have the helicopter circling & can hear sirens.”

A third added: “I don’t even live close but I thought I heard a massive bang around that time and couldn’t figure out what it could be.

“I know sound travels. I hope the residents are all safe.”

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