Ipswich: Chantry blast victim off critical care list

The victim of a horror blast in Chantry is making progress in his battle back to health, the Evening Star understands.

The man - named locally as Chris and understood to be Canadian - suffered serious burns and shrapnel wounds in the explosion.

Chris, who is being treated at a specialist burns unit at Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, is set for a lengthy spell under the care of doctors.

Kevin Watkins, landlord of the Belstead Arms pub, which sits opposite the blast site, said he had been taken off the critical list.

“He has severe damage to his arms and legs but luckily no internal problems,” he added. “He’s still got his burns of course but he’ll probably be in hospital for a considerable time because of the severe damage to his arms and legs.”

The flat’s other tenant and his young daughter narrowly missed being caught in the blast after a fateful delay at a function on Friday night.

The blast, which rocked a row of flats and shops in Ellenbrook Green on Friday night, is believed to have been caused by a redundant back boiler.

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It has prompted Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) to issue safety advice about back boilers, which are devices fitted stoves or fireplaces to enable them to provide both room heat and domestic hot water or central heating.

A SFRS spokeswoman said: “If you a homeowner believe you have a redundant back boiler you should not light a fire in the fireplace until you have sought professional advice.

“If you are a tenant unsure or believe you could have a redundant back boiler you should contact your landlord urgently.

“If you are a landlord you will need to assess your stock and identify those houses containing a redundant solid fuel boiler so as to determine an appropriate plan of action in consultation with a competent person. In the meantime you should issue instructions to relevant tenants advising of the dangers and to not light a fire in the fireplace until further notice.”