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Eleven people who were caught up in a gas explosion in Shrewsbury in 2010 have received compensation for the injuries they sustained and the mental anguish it caused them.
The blast occurred on January 3rd four years ago at the corner between Bridge Street and Smithfield Road. The damage to the affected building was so serious that parts of the town centre had to be closed for more than a month afterwards.
An investigation launched by the Health and Safety Executive discovered that the blast had been caused by gas, but ruled there had been no evidence of a breach in safety legislation to cause it.
Nevertheless, a number of people were badly hurt, with flatmates Sarah Pearse, Scott Godbold and Sam Devine-Turner and their friend Annie Davies all suffering burn injuries. Kiley McDonnell, a pantomime actress who was also in the building, was paralysed from the waist down.
The decision to provide compensation for the victims came in April 2011, when National Grid and BT agreed that the residents had "suffered considerable hardship and injury" because of the incident, although neither admitted liability.
However, it has taken a further three years for the victims to get their money.
Miss Pearse, whose body was covered with 65 per cent burns and who had to spend three weeks in an induced coma to recover, said the settlement is a weight off her shoulders.
"I haven't been able to move on with my life. It's nice to not have to think about it anymore," she added.
The exact sum paid to each person has not been disclosed.
"We are pleased we have been able to resolve compensation claims of those injured in the incident," said Jane Taylor for the National Grid.
"BT does not consider it appropriate to comment on any matter the subject of legal proceedings," said Amy Walker of the telecommunications provider.
Meanwhile, a plan was recently announced by Base Architects that will see the building converted into a restaurant.
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