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National Grid blames BT for gas explosion

Concrete chamber stressed gas pipe

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National Grid is blaming dodgy building work by BT for a gas explosion in Shrewsbury that injured 12 people, according to a report.

The BBC said it has seen legal correspondence from National Grid's solicitors that names the cause of a crack in a gas main at a town centre junction as a concrete "chamber", constructed on top by BT.

"On the north side of the fracture, concrete used to construct the BT chamber had encased the gas main to one side," the letter said.

"The bending stress on the gas main was caused by the dead weight load of the BT chamber acting downwards on the gas main as settlement occurred following construction of the BT chamber."

"BT was negligent in constructing a chamber so close to National Grid's gas main and encasing the same with concrete. National Grid hold BT liable for the explosion and the losses flowing from it."

The explosion occurred on 3 January this year and caused an adjacent block of flats to collapse. Injuries to people in the flats and passers-by included serious burns and spinal trauma.

BT said in a statement it is "liaising with the parties to determine the facts and bases of any claims".

"Despite several requests put to them, National Grid have provided no substantive evidence to support their allegations that BT were at fault," it added. ®

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