Residents evacuated from homes in Southall

Residents living within a 50metre cordon of the explosion site have been evacuated from their homes and asked not to return until advised that it is safe to do so. 

The council is supporting residents who require temporary accommodation and people are advised to attend the Havelock Gurdwara where council officers will be able to provide further assistance.

Evacuated people are asked to take any medication that they may need, and to wear a face mask and follow COVID safety advice, observing where possible appropriate social distancing.

The council has extended its sympathies to all those affected by this tragic incident, and has asked for people’s cooperation at this difficult time.

The explosion happened early this morning (21 October 2020) and extended cordons have been in place all day as the emergency services carried out a rescue operation. 

Drivers are being advised to avoid the area as congestion is expected. 

Update – 6pm, 22 October 2020

There remains a crime scene in place, and work is ongoing to ensure the safety of the explosion site. Road closures remain in place, and are likely to remain in place for the next few days.

Following extensive works throughout the day by the emergency services, the cordon put in place for the safety of residents and business will be reduced overnight, allowing residents to return home – with only pedestrian access.  Residents who are allowed home will be escorted back to their properties by local policing teams.

The small number of residents who will remain excluded from their home while the reduced cordon remains in place, will continue to be supported by the council.

St Anselm’s school will remain closed tomorrow (Friday 23 October) ahead of the half term holiday.

Local businesses are advised to make alternative delivery arrangements where possible as the closure is likely to be in place until further notification, and residents are asked to observe the directions while continuing to access local businesses. Given the increased congestion in the locality arising from any local restrictions people are reminded to continue to wear face masks and observe social distancing for the safety of themselves and others.

Update - 5pm, 23 October 2020

A crime scene remains in place and work continues to ensure the safety of the site and to facilitate the investigation. 

A police cordon remains in place restricting both vehicle and pedestrian access. 

Most evacuated residents will be allowed to return home by the end of today (Friday, 23 October) but a small number of some households will be unable to return until it is deemed safe for them to do so. The council will continue to provide support to those that require it. 

Road closures will remain in place throughout the weekend and early into next week to allow for ongoing investigations and safety works. 

Update - 12.30pm, 25 October 2020

Power has been restored and most evacuated residents are able to return home but a small number of households, 28-40 King Street, are unable to return until safety measures are in place to stabilise the explosion site.   

The police cordon remains in place restricting vehicle and pedestrian access.

Update - 12.30pm, 27 October 2020

Advice to local King Street businesses impacted by the explosion

Business insurance - if you have a policy that covers business disruption or loss, we encourage you to reach out to your insurers as soon as possible to seek their advice and support.

Food safety - it is important that you consider the safety of any food that has been left in storage.  Do not use any food that has now expired past a use by date.  Please remember that electricity was lost to a number of businesses, and therefore you must ensure the integrity of the food you have.  If you need to prove to your insurance company the loss of any large quantities of food – please do contact the food safety team on or call them on 0208 825 6666 and they will be able to issue a voluntary surrender certificate.  For the next five working days we will offer this service free of charge to any business affected by this incident.

Safety of residents who live above commercial businesses - for the safety of everyone in the local area, please remember to check the safety of your gas appliances and electrical systems regularly.  This should include audible alarms. 

It is a legal requirement for all Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) and all other privately rented properties in this area to be licensed. Any privately rented property that is not licensed is in breach of the legislation and the landlord and/or managing agent is committing an offence. There is a risk that such properties could also pose a risk to your business if they are not being managed.  If you are a landlord of a private rented property that is not licensed you should apply immediately.  If you are aware of a property that may be  unlicensed  you can report this to the Council by emailing or call 020 8825 9512 to provide the details and the team will follow up.

Support for businesses - if you need to discuss any specific matter relating to this incident, you may contact a member of  the business growth team on 020 8825 9924 who will attempt to provide you with guidance on what or where to obtain advice and support.