Nearly One Year on, What happened after the New Ferry Explosion?
On 25 March 2017 at around 9.15pm, a huge explosion ripped through New Ferry, Wirral, only a few miles from our offices. Our staff heard the explosion and it was heard as far as Wales, some 70 miles away.
Approximately 34 people were injured in the blast, 3 of which were critically injured. Locals rushed from nearby houses and a pub to help the injured with towels and first aid supplies. The local emergency services came out in full, with NHS staff at the local hospital offering to attend work on their day off to help with the casualties.
Reports of how it started or what caused the blast varied but the destruction it caused was widespread from people’s homes being devastated to family businesses having to close due to fears of unsafe areas and the potential for more damage to follow.
In the aftermath of the incident the community rallied around to help each other. Families affected were relocated to Hotels and B&B’s. The community donated food and clothing for those who had lost their homes.
The Prime Minister Teresa May, on 29 March 2017, during Prime Ministers Question time, after an impassioned plea by local councillor Alison McGovern said the following:
“First of all to comment and thank all of those who worked so hard – the emergency services and others – to support her local community when this devastating explosion took place.
“And of course that work will continue, it doesn’t just happen over the weekend and there will be support given i’m sure to the community in the future.”
She added: “And I am very happy to ask the Secretary of State for Communities (Sajid Javid) to meet with her and discuss how that community can be rebuilt.”
However, three months after the incident the Prime Minster was in Liverpool to support Armed Forces Day, but she did not cross the Mersey into the Wirral to see the devastation this incident had left a community in.
The blast site was cleared, and scaffolding put up. But further delays blighted the community. With no real help in sight the local communities set up charities, drop in centres and other ways of helping their neighbours. This fundraising and support continues to this day. Charities such as New Beginnings – New Ferry.
On 16.01.18, 10mths after the explosion the owner of the furniture shop at the centre of the explosion was charged with causing an explosion likely to endanger life. Contract Natural Gas Limited, an independent gas supplier for business customers has also been charged with an offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act for failing to discharge general health/safety duty to a person other than an employee.
So, what now for those who were injured? Before charges were brought many may not have even knew where to turn to claim for their injuries or financial loss of their business. Some may have sought recourse from their business insurance who may have been unlikely to pay out, or paid out a small amount to the business until the outcome of the investigation was made public. This would be unlikely to cover loss of earnings though.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. Certainly, if the owner of the furniture shop had insurance then many will be making claims against that insurance. But the insurance company may void the policy due to a criminal act by the owner and so may refuse to pay out.
If the shop owner is found guilty then people will be able to submit claims to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), but these can take time, often over 12mths to settle. Then there is the insurance of the Gas Company, people may now forward claims to their insurers.
What we know is that it is not going to be a quick or easy process on the outcome of the criminal proceedings will have an impact on the claims and were any recourse is to be sought from.
We would like to offer our support to anyone affected by the blast. If you make a claim against the insurer’s, then we can help. If you have already started a claim with another company, who may be taking up to 25% of your compensation, then transfer your claim to us and you can keep 100% of your compensation. We will not charge you anything to make the claim against the insurers.
If you wish to make a claim, after the Criminal case has been finalised, and if a Criminal Conviction is given, via the CICA yourself then we can help you complete the forms at no cost. If you want us to deal with the claim for you then we will reduce our costs involved, as this is our community and we would like to offer you as much legal help as possible.
We support our local communities through charitable donations, now we want to support you with free legal assistance for your claim from the New Ferry explosion.
If you need help or advice contact us on Whatsapp us on 07714236784. Call us on 01513063694. Or use the contact form below.