Inquest opening 'not this week' as investigation goes on into explosion which killed man in Clayton-le-Woods

An inquest into the death of a 57-year-old man in an explosion at Clayton-le-Woods is unlikely to open until next week at the earliest.

Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 7:14 pm
The scene at the house in Clayton-le-Woods shortly after the blast and fire.

A joint investigation between the police and fire service into the cause of the blast which killed Carl Whalley last Friday is still ongoing and could take some time.

It is understood that fire investigators are trying to determine how the incident began - was it an explosion which caused a fireball or a blaze which sparked the blast?

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Carl Whalley's body was found in the wreckage of the collapsed semi-detached.

Mr Whalley's semi-detached house on Kirkby Avenue was completely destroyed. Eyewitnesses said they heard a "huge bang" and saw the house consumed by fire before it collapsed.

The body of Mr Whalley was later found in the wreckage, but attempts to search the debris for other possible victims were hampered by the precarious state of the building.

It is believed a post mortem examination has been carried out by a Home Office pathologist to establish how Mr Whalley died, but the results are not expected to be made public for some time.

A spokesperson for the Coroners Office said an inquest was unlikely to formally open this week and would probably be held next week at the earliest.

Police have said they are looking into reports of a long-standing "neighbour dispute" involving Mr Whalley.

They said they were "aware of some allegations made on social media by Mr Whalley and suggestions of a neighbour dispute and we are looking into these as part of our enquiries."

Mr Whalley made a complaint to the police in 2017, but it is believed no action was taken.

Today (October 20), the IOPC confirmed it had received a referral from Lancashire Police "due to the fact officers had contact with the occupant prior to the incident".

"We are assessing the available information to determine what further action may be required," a spokesman said.

"Our thoughts are with all those affected by this tragedy."

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