Dramatic Sallins gas explosion is being investigated by the HSA

A dramatic fire which followed a gas explosion near Sallins is under investigation. No injuries were reported in the wake of the incident.

A dramatic fire which followed a gas explosion near Sallins is under investigation. No injuries were reported in the wake of the incident.

The accidental explosion occurred on Monday August 19 but it was some days before the incident received any attention from the media. The explosion occurred on Monday August 19 at Sherlockstown Road, Sallins.

Bord Gais Networks spokesman Fergal McGrath attributed the incident to a third party who was engaged in construction work in the Sherlockstown Road area at the time.

It’s understood the accident happened shortly after 7am.

“A contractor working on the road surface damaged the gas main and caused a leak which caught fire. We worked closely with the emergency services to put out the fire within a few hours,” Mr. McGrath told the Leader.

He added that the accident resulted in the loss of natural gas supply to 21 residential premises overnight; however all of the customers had gas supply restored by the following day (August 20).

Bord Gais Networks is conducting an investigation into the accident and intends submitting a report to the Commission for Energy Regulation.

The Health and Safety Authority is conducting a separate investigation into the incident.

Mr. McGrath said Bord Gais Networks could not comment further pending the conclusion of the two investigations.

“Bord Gais Networks would like to remind anyone planning or conducting works in the vicinity of underground services to follow HSA guidance from the Code of Practice for avoiding danger from underground services. The code is a joint initiative between the HSA, the Construction Industry Federation, representatives of trade unions, relevant local authorities and utility companies to provide practical guidance to help comply with safety, health and welfare legislation.

The fire was intense enough to cause extensive damage to a heavy road paving machine which was being operated in the area at the time before firemen extinguished the blaze.

There were dramatic scenes in the wake of the explosion and at the height of the incident flames and thick black smoke could be seen up to twenty feet in the air.

- Paula O’Meara