KEY pieces of evidence will be examined by UK experts as the investigation into the Pier Road explosion enters its next phase.
The States police confirmed yesterday that they had completed the evidence collection phase of Operation Spire, but added that the investigation would ‘continue for some time’.
Disaster victim and personal effects recovery experts are expected to continue their work at the site until next month.
‘The next phase will include examination of key pieces of evidence by expert services at the HSE Science and Research Centre in Buxton,’ the police said in a statement.
This stage will also include the examination of CCTV footage, interviews with key witnesses and ongoing work with the Law Officers Department about potential criminal offences.
More than 900 lines of inquiry have been pursued and more than 400 statements taken by the investigation team, while over 700 exhibits have been collected.
Senior investigating officer Superintendent Alison Fossey said: ‘Over the last couple of weeks, teams have made good progress at the scene which has meant we’ve completed our evidence collection ahead of time. I’d like to thank police colleagues and disaster-recovery experts who have done a remarkable job to get us to this point.
‘Key pieces of evidence from the scene continue to be examined at the HSE Science and Research Centre. Although we continue to keep an open mind about the cause of the tragedy, our working hypothesis is a gas explosion.’
The cordoned section of Pier Road will remain closed until further notice.
Handover of the site to the government came a week sooner than planned following good progress made by the search team.