Gas fitter admits role in house explosion

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A workman accused of causing an explosion at a house in Nettleton has admitted breaching gas safety regulations.

Daniel Hickling, 32, of Main Street, Howsham carried out work on Martyn and Teresa Moody’s detached home in Moortown Road shortly before it was struck by a gas explosion in July 2011.

Hickling pleaded guilty to three charges relating to the incident when he appeared at Lincoln Crown Court.

He admitted carrying out work to an inappropriate standard, carrying out work while not registered with the Gas Safety Register and carrying out gas fitting work he was not compotent of doing in breach of the 1998 Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulation.

The court heard how 
the Health and Safety 
Executive indicated they did not accept Hickling’s account 
of how the explosion had been caused.

Hickling will be sentenced after a further hearing in front of judge who will decide how the explosion was caused.

The explosion was described by fire crews as one of the worst they had ever seen.

It propelled parts of the property 100 metres away and sent doors and windows flying out of their frames.

Speaking at the time of the incident, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue station manager Jason Lawley said: “The owners suffered burns to their arms but have been lucky to get out with their lives.

“They really are lucky to be alive.

“I have seen a lot of explosions in the past 20 years but this is one of the most significant judging by the extent of the damage.”

The explosion rocked the foundations of the house and devastated its contents.

Judge Michael Heath adjourned the case and granted Hickling bail until he next appears in court.

He is due in the dock at Lincoln Crown Court on Monday, May 20.