Police investigating a gas explosion at a house in Heysham in which a toddler died have made four arrests in connection with the incident. Emergency services were called to the scene on Mallowdale Avenue at about 2.40am on Sunday, May 16th.
Tragically toddler George Arthur Hinds, aged two years and 10 months, died as a result of the blast. Our thoughts remain with his loved ones.
George’s parents were also injured, although thankfully not seriously. They were taken to hospital for treatment and later discharged. They continue to be supported by specially trained officers.
Two other people, a man and a woman, also received hospital treatment and have also since been discharged.
A criminal investigation was launched in the days following the explosion and detectives assisted by gas experts identified the cause of the explosion as a gas pipe which had been cut inside number 20 Mallowdale Ave.
Today two people, a 44-year-old man and a 51-year-old woman, were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter. They have since been released on police bail pending further enquires.
A second man, 54 was also arrested on suspicion of theft, criminal damage and abstracting electricity. A third man, 47, was arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods. They have both been released under investigation.
Detectives are also now hoping to speak to anyone who may have attended 20 Mallowdale Avenue in the days prior to the explosion.
Detective Chief Insp Jane Webb, of the Force Major Investigation Team, said: “These arrests mark a significant point in our investigation, however our enquiries are still ongoing.
"I would appeal to anyone who has any information that they think could assist with our investigation to please get in touch with us, specifically anyone who may have attended 20 Mallowdale in the days prior to the explosion.
“George’s parents have been devastated by his death and the community of Heysham have been significantly affected by the incident. I would like to thank the community for their help throughout this investigation as well as those that have already come forward with information.
“Our focus remains on getting justice for George’s family and loved ones, as well as those others affected by this incident. We will be pursuing all lines of enquiry to ensure we get the right outcome for those affected.”
Enquiries are ongoing. Anyone with any information should contact police on 101 quoting log 0180 of May 16th. Alternatively contact independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.