Thornton Heath explosion: Police investigating gas blast which killed girl, 4, and left boy, 11, in hospital
Little Sahara Salman’s mum, Sana Ahmed, 28, said that her “world has been torn apart” after her four-year-old daughter was killed in the gas blast.
Police said two other people - and 11-year-old boy and a 54-year-old woman - were seriously injured and remained in hospital. Their conditions are not thought to be life threatening.
Due to the sensitive and complex nature of the incident, the Met said the Specialist Crime Command are now investigating, working in conjunction with the HSE.
Scotland Yard confirmed that the police cordon was extended to 200 metres on Tuesday and a number of neighbouring properties were evacuated due to high gas readings in the area.
In total, more than 200 residents have been evacuated and placed in emergency accommodation by Merton Council.
Supt Richard Smith said: “The thoughts of all of us at the Metropolitan Police remain with Sahara’s family, and those who have been injured following this fire and explosion in Galpins Road.
“This has been a shocking event that has understandably had a deep impact on the local community.”
The senior officer said he did not know when residents would be able to return to their homes.
“Officers, along with the HSE, are working diligently to ensure that the cause of this incident is established and it is safe for those residents who have been displaced to return to their homes,” he explained.
“It is difficult to put a definitive timeframe on when this will be but it must be done with the safety of residents first. I want to reassure those affected that we will be doing this as swiftly as the investigation allows.
“The patience and understanding of local residents and the wider community in Mitcham and Thornton Heath is very much appreciated while this work remains ongoing.”
A spokesperson for Southern Gas Networks - which supplies gas in the area - told LondonWorld: “Following the explosion in Galpins Road, Thornton Heath, on Monday, our thoughts remain with the family of the child who has tragically died as well as those who have been injured.
“We understand the local community has also been deeply affected by the serious incident and we’d like to reassure everyone we are working closely with investigators and assisting the emergency services.
“SGN will continue to have a presence on-site in the coming days.
“Given the ongoing police investigation, we are unable to comment any further at this stage.”