Police arrest four people over explosion that killed ‘beautiful’ two-year-old toddler

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Police arrest four people including two for manslaughter over explosion that killed ‘beautiful’ two-year-old toddler after gas pipe was cut inside neighbour’s house

  • Two-year-old George Arthur Hinds died following the blast in Heysham
  • Police said four arrests have been made in connection with the explosion
  • George’s parents Vicky Studholme and Stephen Hinds were also injured 
  • Man, 44, and woman, 51, arrested on suspicion of manslaughter 


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Police have arrested four people in connection with an explosion that killed a two-year-old boy when a gas pipe was cut inside a neighbour’s house. 

Lancashire Police previously said detectives and gas experts discovered the cause of the explosion in Heysham was a gas pipe which had been cut inside number 20 Mallowdale Avenue.

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George Arthur Hinds, who was just two years and ten months old, died following the blast at the property on Sunday, May 16, which caused two houses to collapse. George’s parents Vicky Studholme and Stephen Hinds, who lived at number 18, were also injured but not seriously.

Two other people, a man and a woman, received hospital treatment and have since been discharged. 

George Arthur Hinds, aged two years and 10 months, was killed by the blast on Mallowdale Avenue in Heysham, Lancashire

George Arthur Hinds, aged two years and 10 months, was killed by the blast on Mallowdale Avenue in Heysham, Lancashire

On Tuesday 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.

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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 was seen at 20 Mallowdale Avenue in the days leading up 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.

Emergency workers at the scene of the explosion, in which two-year-old George was killed and two people were seriously injured in Heysham

Emergency workers at the scene of the explosion, in which two-year-old George was killed and two people were seriously injured in Heysham 

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‘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.’

Emergency services were called to the scene on Mallowdale Avenue at about 2.40am on Sunday, May 16. Officers found two houses collapsed, and a third property had suffered ‘serious damage’.

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Detective Chief Insp Jane Webb, of the Force Major Investigation Team, 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.

George's parents Vicky Studholme and Stephen Hinds, who lived at number 18, were also injured but not seriously

George’s parents Vicky Studholme and Stephen Hinds, who lived at number 18, were also injured but not seriously

A roof of one of the homes destroyed in the blast which killed George Arthur Hinds

A roof of one of the homes destroyed in the blast which killed George Arthur Hinds

Emergency workers at the scene on Mallowdale Ave Heysham, on Sunday May 16

Emergency workers at the scene on Mallowdale Ave Heysham, on Sunday May 16

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‘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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Fundraiser for blast raises £58,000

 

A fundraiser set up in the wake of the blast that killed a young child and destroyed three houses has raised almost £60,000.

Residents of Mallowdale Avenue in Heysham, Lancashire, were woken in the early hours of May 16 by an explosion which left nearby streets and fields covered with debris.

Heather Brandwood set up a GoFundMe appeal after seeing the explosion on the news.

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She said: ‘Although we don’t know any of the people personally, we don’t need to know someone’s name or face to help them. 

‘People have really pulled together as a community, it’s really humbling. Anything we can do that might relieve a bit of pressure and a little bit of stress for those involved is worth doing.’ 

Ms Brandwood said: ‘The general public has been fantastic.

‘There are a lot of people who want to do good, but they don’t know how to go about doing it, so by putting something in place, they always rise to the challenge.

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‘There is a lot of goodwill in Morecambe.’

Donations can be made here.

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