Plumber could face compensation claim after explosion

Plumber could face compensation claim after explosion 2804

A Lincolnshire plumber could face legal action from the owner of a home after it exploded following illegal gas work.

Daniel George Hickling, who traded as DGH Plumbing and Heating, was hired by an unnamed couple to reduce the height of two gas pipes in an old kitchen they wanted to convert into a living room at their home in Nettleton.

After he completed the work in July 2011, the couple realised the gas supply had not been switched back on, so they went to the LPG tank in the garden and reset the valve to restore the supply.

A few moments later the couple smelled something odd and went to investigate and, while searching for the source of the leak, accidentally ignited a cloud of gas.

The following explosion was so large it destroyed almost all of the ground floor's windows and two supporting walls - meaning the property had to have extensive work done to make it safe again.

While both occupants were lucky to be alive after the blast, the male resident suffered severe burns to his hands, forearm, scalp and had to have a skin graft he is still recovering from. The female occupant suffered serious burns to her lower legs and feet.

Both people had to live in a caravan for a year while their house was repaired, but they have since moved back in.

A subsequent Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the incident found Mr Hickling was not registered with Gas Safe and was neither qualified or competent to do the work he promised to carry out.

It is also believed he damaged one of the pipes - puncturing a hole in it - which led to the explosion.

HSE inspector David Butter said: "Anybody who carries out work on gas pipes or appliances without being on the Gas Safe Register is breaking the law. 

"Daniel Hickling endangered the lives of this couple as soon as he began work. They are extremely lucky to have survived."

Posted by Chris StevensonADNFCR-1500-ID-801591067-ADNFCR

28/05/2013 16:51