Specialist Crime Command takes over Galpins blast inquiry

The Metropolitan Police’s Specialist Crime Command has taken over the investigation into the death of a four-year-old child and the serious injury of two other people in the explosion in Thornton Heath earlier this week.

Blown apart: the scene of the explosion on Galpins Road in Thornton Heath on Monday

The police investigation is being conducted in conjunction with the Health and Safety Executive.

The evacuation of properties on Galpins Road and exclusion zone – which was extended on Tuesday “due to high readings of gas in the area”, according to Scotland Yard, continued yesterday, the fourth night that residents were kept out of their homes.

DCI Katherine Goodwin of the Met’s Specialist Crime, said: “People will want to know how such terrible thing has happened and everyone involved in the investigation is determined to provide those answers. I know how much people will want to help, so please, if you have information and have not already spoken to officers, contact us.”

The police yesterday released a photograph of Sahara Salman, the child who died as a result of the blast. Two other people – an 11-year-old boy and a 54-year-old woman – remain in hospital receiving treatment. Neither is in a life-threatening condition, the police said.

Tragedy: Sahara Salman

Acting Borough Commander Supt Richard Smith said, “The thoughts of all of us at the Metropolitan Police remain with Sahara’s family, and those who have been injured following this fire and explosion in Galpins Road. This has been a shocking event that has understandably had a deep impact on the local community.

“Officers, along with the Health and Safety Executive, are working diligently to ensure that the cause of this incident is established and it is safe for those residents who have been displaced to return to their homes.

“It is difficult to put a definitive timeframe on when this will be but it must be done with the safety of residents first. I want to reassure those affected that we will be doing this as swiftly as the investigation allows.

“The patience and understanding of local residents and the wider community in Mitcham and Thornton Heath is very much appreciated while this work remains ongoing.”

Road closures will remain in place around the scene while this work continues.

Merton Council’s updates on the situation can be found here: https://news.merton.gov.uk/2022/08/08/fire-and-explosion-pollards-hill/

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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