Haxby blast victim ‘may have been oblivious to fumes’

Paul Wilmott.
Paul Wilmott.
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A LEEDS BECKETT University worker who died in a gas explosion may not have been able to smell the fumes that could have filled his home in just an hour, a coroner heard yesterday.

Paul Wilmott, 63, was killed when his house in Haxby, York was demolished by the blast in February last year. An inquest in York heard that the explosion was caused by the fracture of a corroded gas pipe that was buried in the concrete floor of Mr Wilmott’s 1970s-built house.

Steve Critchlow, a gas engineer and investigator for the Health and Safety Laboratory, told the inquest in York that the fracture had happened recently and there was no evidence gas was leaking for a significant amount of time.

Mr Critchlow said the explosion could have been caused by an electrical switch, such as a light switch or kettle, igniting the leaking gas. Mr Wilmott died as a result of fractures. The jury returned a conclusion of accidental death. Mr Willmott worked as a sound engineer with the video production unit at Leeds Beckett.

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