HC Deb 25 November 1974 vol 882 cc5-6
5. Mr. Hastings

asked the Secretary of State for Energy whether his investigations into the explosions which demolished Nos. 22 to 24 Redman Gardens, Biggleswade, are completed; what conclusions he has reached; and whether he will make a statement.

The Under-Secretary of State for Energy (Mr. John Smith)

I understand that police inquiries into the cause of this explosion are still proceeding.

Mr. Hastings

I accept that the matter is under investigation by the police, but will the Minister convey to his right hon. Friend the Home Secretary the very real need for speed? Two houses were completely destroyed and a large number of people in neighbouring dwellings suffered considerably as a result of the explosion, in addition to which there was considerable material damage.

Does the Minister realise that in the minds of the public—and in my own mind as a result of visiting the site shortly afterwards—there must be a close connection between gas leakage and this explosion? Can he explain to the House whether there have been any comparable accidents, and, finally, can he say how soon we may expect the result of the investigation?

Mr. Smith

The answer to some of the questions asked by the hon. Gentleman will depend upon the result of the police investigation, but I can say that we have no reason to believe that the outcome of the iquiry will disclose cause for general concern by gas consumers.