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SHAW RESIDENTS URGED TO CONTACT OLDHAM COUNCIL

Oldham Council is making arrangements to enable some residents affected by the Shaw explosion to access their properties.
 
Today the Council are urging residents from Gordon Street, Oak Street, Edmund Street and Chancery Lane to contact them as soon as possible.
 
If you have not already done so, you should get in touch with Oldham Council either by going to the Rest Centre at Crompton House school or calling us direct on 0161 770 7770.
 
If you live in any of these streets the Council urgently need your contact details so that we can speak to you directly about access to your property.
 
These visits will enable residents to retrieve any items that they need to take away as phased access gets underway.

SHAW EXPLOSION: OLDHAM COUNCIL LAUNCHES DISTRESS FUND

Oldham Council is launching an official Distress Fund for all residents affected by yesterday’s gas explosion in Shaw.
 
The blast in Buckley Street yesterday morning killed two-year-old Jamie Heaton and residents at up to 100 properties in the area were also evacuated to a Rest Centre at Crompton House school.
 
Work to assess the extent of damage to the properties which were not destroyed is still ongoing.
 
The Council is setting up the Oldham Distress Fund which enables people and organisations to make donations from tomorrow to those residents directly affected by the incident.
 
Councillor Howard Sykes said: “The generosity of local people in these tragic circumstances has been inspirational to everyone concerned.”
 
“We’ve been inundated with offers of assistance from residents, businesses and partner groups all wanting to help the people affected in Shaw in whatever way they can. We have now established this official Distress Fund to give people an opportunity to donate.
 
“Funds will be used to contribute towards relieving the distress and suffering they are experiencing and pay for items and costs incurred through the explosion. It will also provide short-term financial support to those awaiting payment of insurance claims and support those without insurance cover.
 
“The hardship being suffered by these people is shocking – and is not just financial, it is also emotional.
 
“Many of the items that people will have lost will potentially have comparatively little monetary value, but enormous sentimental value to them as families.
 
“In addition to the official Distress Fund – and the significant donations of clothing, food and other items we’re getting – Council officers are also now based at the Rest Centre offering interest free cash loans to those residents directly facing immediate hardship.

“Officers are also available to give information and help to people on, for example, benefits and insurance claims.
 
“Oldham Council and its partners are totally committed to doing whatever is necessary to help these people – and we’re certain that many will want to contribute to the Distress Fund.”
 
From tomorrow (Thursday, June 28) residents will be able to donate directly to the Oldham Distress Fund via internet and phone.
 
You will be able to donate online via Oldham Council’s website at www.oldham.gov.uk

You can also call 0161 770 6611 during the opening hours of 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday) and 9am to 1pm (Saturday only).

Blast latest

I am sure that most of you are already aware of the tragic incident that took place in Shaw yesterday morning.
 
At around 11.30 am Oldham Council was alerted to a possible gas explosion on Buckley Street.
 
Tragically, two-year-old Jamie Heaton was killed in the blast, which destroyed at least three houses and caused a huge amount of damage.
 
The Council immediately activated the emergency plan, with officers attending the scene and manning the control room.
 
We acted with urgency to provide support for residents affected by the explosion, setting up a rest centre at Crompton House School, which provided help and information to over 100 people who visited throughout the day.
 
I’d like to thank the community and local businesses who have also provided vital support to residents.  
 
Members of the public donated essentials, supermarkets provided vital supplies and a local taxi firm took residents to temporary accommodation for the night.
 
Council officers are now focusing on how best to support residents in their time of need, both in the short and long term.
 
We must meet the immediate requirements of the people who are affected by this, then look to support them in rebuilding their lives – no matter how long it takes.
 
The council’s building control team are inspecting the site today to asses the damage in detail and establish which properties are safe to return to.
 
They are also working closely with the Police and other agencies to ensure that residents are kept informed with developments as they happen.
 
Later today we will also announce the establishment of a Disaster Fund and I’m sure that many of you will want to contribute to this. Details will be available on the Oldham Council’s website when they are confirmed.
 
It goes without saying that all our thoughts and sympathies are with the families affected by this terrible instance.
 

RESIDENTS ARE THE PRIORITY  

Oldham Council and a range of partner organisations across all sectors have been working to assist residents affected by today’s major explosion in Shaw.
 
A Rest Centre set-up at Crompton House school in the wake of the blast has been providing help for people unable to access their homes.
 
So far it has assisted around 80 people from 40 families.
 
All people requiring temporary accommodation are being housed tonight in partnership with First Choice Homes Oldham (FCHO). Some are also staying with friends or family, or at Bed and Breakfast accommodation.  
 
Councillor Howard Sykes said: “The response from the local community and partner groups to this tragic event has been heart-warming.”
 
“We’re continuing to work closely with the emergency services who showed typical professionalism in responding so rapidly to this incident.

”The emergency planning that we have in place with blue light services appears to have worked well but the contribution from local residents, businesses and partner groups has been immense.
 
“Anyone visiting the Rest Centre has been able to access emergency housing help from First Choice Homes Oldham and medical aid from the Red Cross.
 
“Family advisers and counsellors have also been on hand along with community liaison officers from the police.
 
“In the immediate aftermath of the blast the local Asda supermarket gave up their restaurant to people evacuating the area, offering food and shelter and other items throughout the day. Several other local stores including Tesco and Primark also came forward with offers to assist in whatever way they could.  
 
“A local taxi firm, Borough Taxis, took residents to the Rest Centre and we also have had so many offers of help from local residents.
 
“Even Crompton House pupils and staff assisted in setting up the facility this morning and also helped to ensure children were kept safe and well.
 
“In the face of such adversity everyone has pulled together in a fantastic community effort. Today’s events have touched everybody in the community and their response has been truly inspirational.”

 

OLDHAM COUNCIL ASSISTING AT SHAW EXPLOSION SCENE

Oldham Council is continuing to assist emergency services at the scene of an explosion in Shaw this morning.
 
Greater Manchester Police have now confirmed that a young child died.
 
At least one person is also believed to be trapped.
 
One man was taken to hospital with 80 per cent burns while another person remains unaccounted for.
 
Councillor Howard Sykes said: “This is absolutely tragic news that has shocked the whole community.”
 
“Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this incident. You don’t have to have known any of the people involved to feel stunned and saddened by today’s events and they are all in our thoughts.
 
“Oldham Council is continuing to work alongside the emergency services to contribute in whatever way that we can.
 
“Our priority is to ensure a safe environment and assist those affected in whatever way we possibly can.
 
“A rest centre has been set up nearby at Crompton House school and we are working with partners to keep residents informed of developments.
 
”We will commit whatever resources are needed in order to assist the emergency services in their ongoing work and the clean-up operation when it begins.
 
“Obviously there will be people who have been affected by this and will not be able to go home tonight. We are advising them to consider staying with friends or family in the first instance, but if they need further assistance then they should call Oldham Council’s Contact Centre on 0161 770 7770.”