[ad_1]

A tenth person has died their life following an explosion that ripped apart a block of flats in Jersey earlier this month.

Kathleen McGinness, 73, who was injured in the blast earlier this month, died in hospital on Christmas Day, Jersey’s chief of police has announced.

The three-storey building overlooking the port of St Helier exploded in a fireball at 4am on December 10. Ms McGinness had been living in the building adjacent to the Pier Road when it blew up. 

Since the incident, she had been receiving treatment at Jersey’s General Hospital, where she died on Christmas Day.   

Kathleen McGinness, 73, who was injured in the blast earlier this month, died in hospital on Christmas Day

Kathleen McGinness, 73, who was injured in the blast earlier this month, died in hospital on Christmas Day

The blast levelled the three-storey building and has so far claimed the lives of 10 people. Pictured are emergency crews at the scene on December 10

The blast levelled the three-storey building and has so far claimed the lives of 10 people. Pictured are emergency crews at the scene on December 10

In a statement, Jersey police chief Robin Smith said: ‘Her family are being supported by specially trained Police Family Liaison Officers and my thoughts, and the thoughts of all of us at States of Jersey Police, are with them.

‘This incident has been incredibly challenging for everyone involved and I would like to praise the families for their stoicism in the face of such tragic circumstances. The Island is rightly behind them and on-hand to support, but first and foremost we are there together to give them their privacy and time to grieve.’ 

Seven of the victims have already been named as Peter Bowler, 72, Raymond ‘Raymie’ Brown, 71, Romeu and Louise De Almeida, 67 and 64, Derek and Sylvia Ellis, 61 and 73, and 63-year-old Billy Marsden. 

See also  Sam Bankman-Fried pictured being led away in cuffs after he's denied bail and sent to Bahamas jail

Investigators are still probing the cause of the explosion which rocked the Channel island community over the weekend. 

Mr Smith said on the ‘likely’ cause of the blast was a gas leak – but Jo Cox, chief officer at Island Energy, said the flats affected were not connected to the gas network.

An independent investigation into the island’s fire service is continuing after it was found that officers had been called to the flats at 8.36pm on Friday, hours before the explosion.

Derek and Sylvia Ellis

Derek and Sylvia Ellis

Romeu and Louise de Almeida

Romeu and Louise de Almeida

Billy Marsden

Billy Marsden

Ken and Jane Ralph

Ken and Jane Ralph

Paul Brown, head of Jersey Fire and Rescue Service, said: ‘It’s inappropriate for me to talk about anything else on Friday evening because the most appropriate place to do that is through the investigative process, because the only important thing here is the families.

‘Ordinarily we would investigate – we investigate hundreds of fires every year – but on this occasion we will commission independent investigators. 

‘I think it’s important that everybody is absolutely assured about the openness and transparency and the relentless drive for the truth through facts, and that’s why I’m determined that there should be an independent view of the cause of the fire and explosion.

‘More practically, this is a large, complex event for a small service like ours. You can imagine all of our resources have been drawn into the response and so there is a resourcing issue there as well.’ 

Emergency services were called to Haut du Mont flats (pictured before the incident) in St Helier just before 4am on Saturday

Emergency services were called to Haut du Mont flats (pictured before the incident) in St Helier just before 4am on Saturday

Emergency workers at the site of the explosion that destroyed a block of flats in St Helier, Jersey

Emergency workers at the site of the explosion that destroyed a block of flats in St Helier, Jersey

Emergency services were called to Haut du Mont flats in St Helier, the capital of Jersey - the largest of the Channel Islands

Emergency services were called to Haut du Mont flats in St Helier, the capital of Jersey – the largest of the Channel Islands

This CCTV grab shows the moment the explosion first went off in the early hours of the morning on December 10

This CCTV grab shows the moment the explosion first went off in the early hours of the morning on December 10

A search and rescue operation was launched on Saturday (pictured) in an attempt to find people trapped in the rubble

A search and rescue operation was launched on Saturday (pictured) in an attempt to find people trapped in the rubble

An independent investigation into what caused the explosion will take place, after the fire service said crews were called to investigate a smell of gas seven hours beforehand.

The blast capped a tragic week for the self-governing British Crown dependency off the coast of northern France.

Earlier this month, three fishermen were reported missing when their boat collided with a cargo ship and sank.

Jersey Coastguard said on Wednesday that two bodies found by search and rescue teams in the vicinity of the wreck and were brought ashore.

‘Digital evidence, including survey video footage and other sonar data, will be examined by specialist teams in the coming days,’ it added.

A vigil was held on Wednesday, with people leaving flowers and signing books of condolence.

[ad_2]

Source link