Islanders taken to Town Hall following huge explosion

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DOZENS of people affected by the Pier Road explosion were taken to the Town Hall this morning.

St Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft said around 50 people had been brought there initially, although some had now started to leave as they were collected by friends and relatives.

‘We’ll be open here as long as we’re needed,’ he said.

‘No-one here was actually injured, but we had people whose windows were blown in, and others from further away who’d been woken by the explosion and had to evacuate, they just came here in the first clothes they could find.

‘Our biggest concern is for those in hospital and if some people have lost their lives then our thoughts are with their families,’ he added.

Constable Simon Crowcroft Picture: ROB CURRIE. (34836215)

Mr Crowcroft said that he feared there had been loss of life and that his first thoughts were with those worst affected.

He added that Andium Homes were working with the Fire and Rescue Service to determine when it might be possible for some of those living in adjacent buildings be able to return home.

Emergency accommodation is being sought by Andium, he said.

Mr Crowcroft said the incident was the biggest to affect St Helier since the gasworks explosion in 2012, when the Town Hall was also a key focal point for helping those affected.

Although it was too early to know details about a relief effort for those affected, Mr Crowcroft said he was confident the generosity of Islanders would come to the fore.

‘There are people who have lost their homes, and the Christmas presents they had bought,’ he said.

‘I’m sure the people of Jersey will show their generosity, especially in the build-up to Christmas.’

Meanwhile, in a statement, Jo Cox, chief executive of the Islands Energy Group, said: ‘We are co-operating fully with the emergency services following the serious incident in St Helier this morning.

‘Our thoughts are with the residents of the area and anyone who has been affected.

‘We are working with Jersey Fire and Rescue to understand exactly what has happened and will share more information once it is available. We ask that Islanders continue to follow the advice given by emergency services at this time.’

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