Wednesday 15 August 2018

Two pensioners say it was a 'Christmas miracle' they escaped serious injury in suspected gas explosion at their home

Edward and Noreen Mealy escaped a gas explosion at their home
Edward and Noreen Mealy escaped a gas explosion at their home
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

TWO pensioners admitted it was "a Christmas miracle" they escaped serious injury in a suspected gas explosion at their Cork home.

Edward (83) and Noreen (81) Meany suffered only shock and minor abrasions in the explosion which rocked their home last Saturday morning.

The couple admitted they cannot believe how fortunate they were to escape the incident with the sound of the blast heard up to 1km away.

They are now staying with their sons until repairs are conducted to their home.

"I can't stop that terrible shaking (in my hands)," Noreen told TV3's Paul Byrne.

"I have nerves every time I close my eyes because I can hear that sound and that flash.

"That is what I remember."

The accident occurred shortly after 9am last Saturday in a property on the Lower Glanmire Road, less than 1km from the city centre.

Neighbours raised the alarm after hearing a loud blast from a property located close to Water Street.

Gardaí, Cork Fire Brigade units and several ambulances attended the scene.

Both Noreen and Edward were rushed to hospital for precautionary assessment.

Miraculously, they only suffered shock and minor abrasions.

A full safety inspection was launched to determine the precise cause of the incident.

Noreen had just entered the kitchen on Saturday morning when the blast occurred.

"I can remember the flames coming out - and it throwing me up against the wall."

"I shouted to Ted, run - basically that is what I can remember. The whole house was like an earthquake had shook it," she said.

Edward said there was a smell of gas around the property afterwards.

"I tell you the truth, we are very, very lucky that we walked out of that house after that bomb."

Edward, who worked in the former Ford's car plant in Cork, said the property has been their home for more than 50 years.

However, such was the force of the blast, the interior was wrecked in a matter of seconds.

"It just took a few seconds for it to be gone," Noreen said.

"But we are alive so it will be alright."

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