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Pensioner fights for life after horror gas blast at her home

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DAMAGE: O'Rahilly house in Ringsend where a woman was injured in a gas explosion last night

DAMAGE: O'Rahilly house in Ringsend where a woman was injured in a gas explosion last night

DAMAGE: O'Rahilly house in Ringsend where a woman was injured in a gas explosion last night

AN elderly woman is in a critical condition after an apparent gas explosion at her Ringsend home.

Bridget Berry (92) suffered second and third degree burns after an explosion in her kitchen at the O'Rahilly House flats at 10.15pm last night.

The devout mass-goer was rushed to St Vincent's Hospital but may be transferred to St James's hospital's burns unit.

Neighbours today told the Herald they saw the pensioner "on fire" in her kitchen as the explosion rocked the flats complex.

"I was sitting in the living room and the next thing I heard was an unmerciful bang that shook the place," said neighbour Angie Mullen.

"I ran out with my husband and then we could hear Bridget calling for help. We have keys to her home so we got in as quick as we could and poor Bridget was on fire in the kitchen."

Angie said Bridget appeared to be making a cup of tea when the explosion occurred.

"The poor pet, her biscuits were broken on the floor. It looked like she had gone to make a cup of tea and her cooker might have been on and it went up when she lit the gas," she said.

"My husband put out the flames on her burning dressing gown, but Bridget was burned on her legs and face and hands."

SURGEONS

Bridget has lived at O'Rahilly House for around 35 years. She lives alone following the death of her husband many years ago.

While she has no children she is independent according to neighbours, and has distant relatives that keep in touch with her.

A grand-nephew, Tom Fields, told the Herald that plastic surgeons were due to meet today to decide on how best to treat Bridget's injuries.

"The people in Ringsend have been great and we don't know what happened exactly, but Bridget is in the ICU unit in Vincent's at the moment and we might get more word later," he said.

Gardai sealed off Bridget's ground floor flat. The bedroom window of the flat was blown out with the force of the blast. Initial indications are that it was the result of an accident involving a cooker rather than a mains leak.

cfeehan@herald.ie


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