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Bedroom blast girls still battling injuries

Two young girls injured in an explosion at a house in Drogheda remain in hospital with serious injuries almost a month after it happened.

Pals Jessica Woods, Sarah Louise Coddington, Zara Pugh and Chloe Coyle - all aged between 12 and 14 - received shocking burns in the flash explosion at Zara's house at Ascail Fionnan in the Louth town on August 3 last.

It is thought that vapours from an aerosol can may have been accidentally ignited, causing the blast which threw Jessica through a bedroom door and caused a wall in a room to collapse.

Jessica was the most seriously injured and received deep burns that required her to be put in an induced coma on a ventilator.

And although she is now out of intensive care at Our Lady's Hospital in Crumlin she still has "a long road to recovery", according to her mother Triona.

"Jessica is recovering, but she is going to be in hospital for a long time yet," she told the Herald.

"She's able to eat and drink and can talk, but Jessica has had many surgeries and still may need more," Triona added.


Jessica received extensive burns to her face, back, legs and arms, and is still on a lot of medication having undergone painful skin graft operations.

Sarah Louise Coddington was transferred to a hospital in the UK where she continues to receive treatment.

It is expected she will be returned to Ireland to continue her treatment in a hospital in the near future.

The other girls injured in the blast, Zara Pugh and Chloe Coyle, have now been discharged from hospital in the past few days and are continuing their recoveries at home.

Jessica's mother said they have been overwhelmed by the support they have received since the explosion at Ascail Fionnan on the outskirts of Drogheda town.

"I have had messages from all over the world. People are sending letters and texts, and even leaving notes in churches for Jessica, the support is incredible," said Triona.

"It gives her the strength to go on and fight. We never knew there was so much support from people who don't even know her," she added.

Jessica is being treated at Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin.

Gardai are examining the incident, but stress it is not a criminal investigation, but is necessary due to the fact that four people were injured.