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1985: 'Gas blast' kills five in Glasgow
A young family of four have been killed in an explosion in a block of flats in Glasgow.

A neighbour also died in the blast which destroyed the building in the King's Park district of the city.

The accident is believed to have been caused by leaking gas and investigators have found a fractured gas main nearby.

The broken pipe is made of cast iron and is similar to the one blamed for the fatal leak in Putney, south London, earlier this year which resulted in the deaths of eight people.

The whole house came raining down on top of me
Resident Norman Rogers
Five people are also in hospital, including one man who was thrown through the upstairs window when the two-storey house blew up.

Neighbours began searching the ruins for survivors immediately after the blast - which occurred at 0810 GMT - and they were joined by firemen minutes later.

Resident Norman Rogers was in the building with his wife and son and told reporters he had had a lucky escape.

"The whole house came raining down on top of me and I was trapped under rubble," he said.

Ball of flame

Postman James McMullen was delivering letters to the house next door when the flats exploded.

"The window smashed open and I couldn't really see what it was and then a ball of flame came bursting out," he said.

The government has launched an inquiry to investigate the cause of the tragedy.

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Remains of block of flats
The two-storey building was reduced to rubble

In Context
Investigators later confirmed the leaky gas main as the cause of the explosion.

UK gas distribution network Transco has often been accused of not replacing old cast iron pipes - which are prone to frost damage - with safer plastic ones quickly enough.

Scotland has suffered particularly badly from fatal gas explosions over the last 30 years:

  • 1971: Clarkston Shopping Centre, Glasgow (21 deaths)
  • 1983: Hotel in Aberdeen (six deaths)
  • 1989: Six-storey building in Edinburgh (two deaths)
  • 1989: Homw in West Lothian (1 death)
  • 1999: Larkhall, Glasgow (Family of four died)

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