Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Alan Sugar Saved My Life; Devastation: Three Houses Were Destroyed by the Gas Explosion in Stanley Road, Harrow. One Man Died and Two Other People a Man, .., and a Girl, 1. Were Seriously Hurt

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Alan Sugar Saved My Life; Devastation: Three Houses Were Destroyed by the Gas Explosion in Stanley Road, Harrow. One Man Died and Two Other People a Man, .., and a Girl, 1. Were Seriously Hurt

Article excerpt

Byline: BENEDICT MOORE-BRIDGER, ANNA DAVIS, ROB SINGH

A FATHER-of-two told today of his miraculous escape from a gas blastthat left one man dead, two others seriously injured and destroyed threehouses.

Mark Leahy said his decision to watch The Apprentice on TV at his ex-wifes homein Harlesden, rather than return to his own house, was crucial. I guess youcould say Alan Sugar saved my life, he said. His terrace home in Stanley Road,Harrow, was reduced to rubble by the explosion at 9.40pm yesterday.

Mr Leahy, 42, said: Normally I would be in the house and that would have beenit. We were very lucky Im in disbelief. By the grace of God Im alive.

The Mets Homicide and Serious Crime Command are today investigating whether theman found dead was murdered. They believe the blast at No23 may have beencaused deliberately. The body of the man remained under rubble as structuralengineers tried to stabilise the property. He was named locally as EmadQureshi, 26.

Another 26-year-old man, who was in the house, was taken to Northwick Parkhospital with serious head injuries. A 17-year-old girl, rescued by neighboursfrom No 21 next door, was taken to Chelsea and Westminster hospital with severeburns. No 19 was vacant.

The sound of the blast, heard up to five miles away,was initially thought tohave been caused by a gas leak, but police are treating it as suspicious.Detective Chief Inspector Colin Sutton said: We are certainly not satisfied itwas a gas explosion at this stage.

Firefighters were moving what remains of the roof of No 23 using a crane. Theyalso knocked a hole in the connecting wall from No 25 and hoped to recover themans body by 6pm.

The houses owner Kulasegaram Pageerathan was trying to contact his tenant. Hesaid: He lives with his brother and sister-in-law, who are both on holiday. …

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