Explosion which killed boy, 2, caused by cut gas pipe inside houses, police say

24 May 2021, 17:27 | Updated: 24 May 2021, 18:07

George Arthur Hinds, 2, has been named as the toddler who died in a gas explosion in Heysham
George Arthur Hinds, 2, has been named as the toddler who died in a gas explosion in Heysham. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Detectives have said the cause of a blast which killed a two-year-old was caused by a cut gas pipe inside one of the houses.

George Arthur Hinds was two months away from his third birthday when he died after the blast destroyed two homes and seriously damaged a third on Mallowdale Avenue in Heysham, Lancashire.

It is not yet known how the pipes were cut, and the force have said the investigation to find out is likely to take some time.

George’s parents Vicky Studholme and Stephen Hinds were also injured, although thankfully not seriously and have been discharged from hospital.

Two other people – a man aged 44 and a woman aged 50 - remain in hospital with injuries described as critical.

Read more: 'Beautiful little angel' - Family pay tribute to 2-year-old who died in suspected gas blast

In a tribute to George, his parents said: “We are devastated at the loss of our beautiful George.

"He was so precious to us. We have no words to describe how we feel and just want time to ourselves to come to terms with what has happened. Our beautiful little angel grew his wings today.”

George Arthur Hinds was two months away from his third birthday when he died
George Arthur Hinds was two months away from his third birthday when he died. Picture: PA
It is not yet known how the pipes were cut, and the force have said the investigation to find out is likely to take some time.
It is not yet known how the pipes were cut, and the force have said the investigation to find out is likely to take some time. Picture: PA

Detective Chief Insp Jane Webb said: “My thoughts first and foremost remain with George’s family and loved ones at this time, as well as those others affected by this incident.

“An incredible amount of work has been done at the scene in a relatively short space of time and as well as identifying the source of the explosion we have also managed to recover some items of George’s, which I know means a lot to his parents.

“Our focus now is on trying to establish how and why the pipe inside No. 20 came to be cut and those enquiries are complex and lengthy.

“I would like to thank the community for their help so far and I want to continue to appeal to anyone who may have information which could assist our investigation to come forward and contact us. Even if you think the information you have is insignificant or irrelevant please tell us and we can be the judge."

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