Wednesday 22 November 2017

Man arrested over house gas explosion that killed toddler

Nick Britten in London

Detectives investigating the death of a toddler killed in a massive explosion last night arrested a man on suspicion of manslaughter, Greater Manchester Police said.

The man (32) was taken into custody following Jamie Heaton's death on Tuesday in Shaw, Oldham, England.

Jamie's mother, who was hanging out the washing when a gas explosion destroyed her house, killing her baby son, desperately clawed through the rubble to reach him.

Michelle Heaton (28) had momentarily left two-year-old Jamie watching television in their front room.

The explosion, believed to have stemmed from the house next door, destroyed their house and killed Jamie.

Police said they were conducting a murder inquiry and are treating the fire as suspicious after the explosion was believed to have started at the house of Mrs Heaton's neighbour, Andrew Partington (27).

Burns

The National Grid confirmed that there was no gas leak from an external pipe.

Mr Partington suffered 20pc burns in the explosion, which destroyed four houses and damaged several more in Buckley Street and he was last night under sedation in hospital.

He lived at the house with his partner, Tanya Williams, and five children. Officers were waiting to speak to him when he woke up and said they had "significant questions" for him.

Mrs Heaton, who lived with her husband Kenny (29) and their three children, had spoken recently on Facebook about her "wonderful" children and how life as a family was so good.

The family were too upset to comment yesterday.

While senior officers admitted that a domestic situation on Monday night was playing a role in their inquiry, Steve Heywood, assistant chief constable, said: "We have had some information to suggest it may not be accidental, so we are treating it as a suspicious death and therefore a homicide investigation is undertaken.

"There might have been some precursor event, like a domestic incident. All those things are still in our thinking at this time."

Mr Partington -- who was recently made redundant, according to locals -- was still under sedation and unconscious at Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester.

One said Ms Williams had asked him to marry her at the weekend. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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