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, 26, and a Girl, 17 Were Seriously Hurt

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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-wife'shome in Harlesden, rather than return to his own house, was crucial. "I guessyou could say Alan Sugar saved my life," he said. His terrace home in StanleyRoad, 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 luckyI'm in disbelief. By the grace of God I'm alive." The Met's Homicide andSerious Crime Command are today investigating whether the man found dead wasmurdered. They believe the blast at No 23 may have been caused deliberately.

The body of the man remained under rubble as structural engineers tried tostabilise the property.

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

The sound of the blast, which could be heard up to five miles away, wasinitially thought to have been the result of a gas leak, but police aretreating it as suspicious.

Detective Chief Inspector Colin Sutton said: "We don't know what the cause was,but we are certainly not satisfied it was a gas explosion at this stage."Firefighters are moving what remains of the roof of No 23 using a crane. Theyhope to recover the man's body by 6pm. The house's owner landlord KulasegaramPageerathan said he is still trying to contact his tenant.

He said: "He lives with his brother and sister-in-law, who are both on holiday. …


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