Page last updated at 16:06 GMT, Thursday, 15 May 2008 17:06 UK

Liquid did not cause house blast

The collapsed houses in South Harrow
Police are no longer treating the explosion as suspicious

A liquid poured through the letterbox of a house in north-west London did not cause an explosion which killed a man and hurt two others, police have said.

Gas was the most likely cause of the blast in Stanley Road, South Harrow, London last Wednesday, they said.

Last week police said the purple liquid poured into a neighbour's house "may well be" responsible for the blast.

But after testing the liquid they said it was not explosive and the blast was not caused deliberately.

Two houses were completely destroyed and a third house was damaged in the blast, which police believe occurred at 21 Stanley Road.

None of the information gathered in the past few days supports the theory of explosives, or similar devices, nor a deliberate act to cause an explosion
Met Police spokesman

A large volume of gas may have passed through an unused meter in the house before the explosion, police added.

Neighbour Emmad Qureshi, 26, died and another 26-year-old man was injured.

Charlotte Anderson, 17, who lived at house number 21, was dragged from the debris by a passer-by and suffered serious burns.

About 40 people who live in the road were taken to temporary accommodation as a result of the blast.

Police previously believed that Charlotte was the target of an attack, and said the liquid was poured through her letterbox 10 hours before the blast.

This theory was supported by Charlotte's sister Gemma Nesbitt, who claimed the blast was caused by a gang of girls who had attacked her before.

However on Thursday police ruled this out after examining a doormat, gas meter and piping at the house.

They also questioned witnesses including a group of young people seen outside Charlotte's home on the day of the explosion.

"None of the information gathered in the past few days supports the theory of explosives, or similar devices, nor a deliberate act to cause an explosion," a police spokesman said.


SEE ALSO
Blast girl was 'target of gang'
15 May 08 |  London

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