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Drone pictures of Little Knoll and Oak Tree Road, South Ashford, following explosions and fire


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These dramatic new aerial shots show the devastation caused by a series of explosions in South Ashford this week.

In one picture, captured using a drone, a workman in a high-visibility jacket can be seen sifting through rubble in the shell of a building that just a few days ago was someone’s home.

Windows lie on the ground having been blasted out of their frames and furniture and belongings are reduced to charcoal, yet a number of television aerials remain in place and chimneys are still standing.

Aerial view of Little Knoll and Oak Tree Road. Picture: Lindsay Renton
Aerial view of Little Knoll and Oak Tree Road. Picture: Lindsay Renton

The pictures, taken by South Willesborough resident Lindsay Renton, also show the area is still cordoned off.

As the investigation into the cause of the blasts in the Little Knoll and Oak Tree Road area on Monday afternoon continues, stories have been emerging of bravery amid the chaos.

PHD student Steven Horne, who lives in Oak Tree Road with his wife and six children, saw the explosion and rushed out of his home barefoot to help.

A close-up shows workmen inside the devastated homes. Picture: Lindsay Renton
A close-up shows workmen inside the devastated homes. Picture: Lindsay Renton

The 34-year-old said: "I was leaning out my back window at the time so I saw the explosion happen. The entire roof went up into the air. The windows burst out. It took a couple of seconds to register what happened.

“I ran out of the house to the flats, I didn’t even have any shoes on, but I went round there to get the people out.

“There were quite shocked and hadn’t realised what happened. I went in by the back garden. I told my mate Pete to get out quickly and grab his dogs.

Steven Horne was one of the first on the scene. Picture: Paul Amos
Steven Horne was one of the first on the scene. Picture: Paul Amos

“Then I ran to the flat next door. The woman was in total shock and had no idea what was going on. She had a little dog in her arms and she was really startled.

“She had a blank look on her face. I said ‘grab your bag, we have to go right now’.

“Then I went to another flat and tried to get this old boy out. I think he was Polish and he didn’t speak much English.

Windows were blown from their frames and tiles came off the roof. Picture: Lindsay Renton
Windows were blown from their frames and tiles came off the roof. Picture: Lindsay Renton

“I knocked on his door and tried to explain what happened but I think he thought I was selling something because he just closed the door and said ‘not today’. Thankfully, the police eventually got him out.

“A couple of guys came down carrying a young guy who was living in the flat where the explosion happened. He was really badly burnt and they took him out to the ambulance.

“I can’t believe he got away with superficial burns. It was a miracle that he got away at all. It looked terrible.”

The badly damaged properties in Oak Tree Road have been demolished and replaced
The badly damaged properties in Oak Tree Road have been demolished and replaced

Mr Horne said more explosions followed as parts of the windows and wall burst from the property.

He said the flames had ripped through the entire building within 15 minutes.

Several homes were destroyed and a number of people were injured.

Police found a suspected cannabis factory in the smouldering rubble but do not, at this stage, believe it caused the explosions or the fire.

A Facebook group has been set up to coordinate the collection of clothes, bedding and other items for the people who have been left homeless.

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