One person killed, two hospitalised following house explosion
- Man (28) killed, man (53) and woman (21) hospitalised
- Emergency services attended the scene shortly after midnight
- It is understood a boiler blew up in the house
- Gardai discovered a large cannabis grow house in a unit at the rear of the property
- Scene preserved for a technical examination
One man has been killed and two people have been injured in an explosion at a house in Drogheda overnight.
Gardai believe a back boiler in a cottage blew up causing the death and injuries.
The alarm was raised at around 11.20pm last night when the explosion occurred in the Beaulie townland on the Termonfeckin Road.
In a follow-up search Gardai discovered a large cannabis grow house in a unit at the rear of the property.
The dead and injured are Lithuanian nationals, and neighbours say two of them had been living at the house for around two years.
The man who died is 28 years-old. He was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after the blast.
A 53 year-old man received serious injuries to his stomach, arms and legs in the blast, and a 21 year-old woman was less seriously injured, receiving burns to her hands.
Emergency services extinguished a fire at the property after the explosion.
A next door neighbour reported hearing a loud bang in the darkness of night, but at first didn't know what it was.
"I heard a loud bang and came to the front door to see what it might be, and I could hear a woman screaming," said the man.
"Then I saw smoke at the side of the house and the woman came in to me, but she had no English and was on the phone talking in her own language," he added.
"Her hands were injured. It took a while to figure out what happened," the man told Independent.ie.
As dawn broke and daylight arrived, the neighbour discovered fragments of the fireplace, coal and fire bricks in his garden where they had come from next door due to the force of the explosion.
Gardai sealed off the area for a forensic examination which was carried out by members of the garda technical bureau.
The side window of the house, which is in a small row of cottages, was blown out in the explosion.
The injured man and woman were brought to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda for treatment, and the body of the dead man was brought to the mortuary of the same hospital.
At a press conference at the scene Superintendent Andrew Watters from Drogheda Garda Station confirmed that the man who died and the man and woman who were injured were Lithuanian nationals.
He said that in a routine search of the property a sophisticated and elaborate cannabis cultivation system was discovered in a large unit at the back of the property.
He said around 200 plants in different stages of cultivation and with a street value of around €150,000 were discovered.
Two investigations are now underway. One into the cause of the explosion in the living room of the house, and one into the cannabis grow house at the back of the property.