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This article was reproduced with the kind permission
of the British Broadcasting Corporation



Tuesday, 13 November 2007, 15:59 GMT
Safety checks after boiler blast

A housing association is urging its tenants with redundant boilers behind coal fires to have them checked after a woman and her dog died in an explosion.

It is thought a build-up of pressure caused by the heat of a fire led to the blast at the three-bedded house at Twyning, near Tewkesbury, on Monday.

Severn Vale Housing Association said the back boiler had been fitted with both a pressure and a drain valve.

It said it would be contacting tenants and arranging safety checks.

'Full investigation'

Executive director Hugh Aldridge, said: "We will be carrying out a full investigation with the Health and Safety Executive as well as the police and fire and rescue service to establish the cause of the tragedy.

"We will be contacting all current customers of Severn Vale who may have a similar redundant unit so that we can carry out safety checks and advising owners of former Severn Vale properties that they should ensure their systems are checked by a qualified plumber."

Emergency services were called to Nut Orchard Lane at 0800 GMT on Monday although the incident is thought to have happened on Sunday evening.

The woman, who lived in the village, and is believed to have been in her 60s, died in the blast with a dog.

Back boilers are devices fitted to the rear of coal fires and used to heat water.