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Sunday 17 December 2017

Helpline flooded with calls after gas leak kills teenagers

Almost 200 callers have inundated a gas helpline in the North after a leak killed two teenagers at a seaside apartment, it was revealed today.

Property owners on the north coast and surrounding areas were on Monday night urged to switch off liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) appliances fitted by a company based in Coleraine, Co Derry.

Staff involved in the examination of an apartment at neighbouring Castlerock, where the two boys died last week, revealed an appliance inside a flat at Tunnel Brae Court had not been working properly.

The helpline alert was issued just hours after the funeral of Aaron Davidson, 18, from Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, who died with his school friend Neil McFerran, 18.

They had been spending time at the apartment awaiting their A-level results.

A third teenager, Matthew McGaw, also 18, survived the leaking poisonous fumes.

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) today announced that it has had a "strong response" to its emergency number since it was established on Monday at 6pm.

"Over 185 calls have been received so far from concerned members of the public," a spokeswoman added.

There have been no further hospital admissions related to the alert, a spokeswoman for the Northern Health and Social Services Trust said.

The HSENI said it was continuing to carry out checks in other premises in Castlerock and Coleraine.

It said it was advising people who had gas work carried out in their homes or premises by George Brown, trading as George Brown of The Calor Shop in Coleraine, to switch off their gas appliances.

The funeral service for Aaron Davidson took place at The Church of the Ascension, Newtownabbey, today.

A funeral for Neil McFerran was held at Newtownabbey Methodist Mission in Rathcoole on Saturday.

Press Association

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