On 25th March 2017 at 9.14pm in the evening, on the night before Mother's Day, the largest explosion in Merseyside since WWII tore out part of New Ferry shopping district and destroyed many homes in New Ferry and historic Port Sunlight village.
This was no ordinary gas explosion. It devastated the entire community.
So far, it is known that due to the blast, at least:
81 people sustained injuries, including lacerations and burns as well as psychological trauma (1), one of whom suffered permanent life-changing physical injuries
78 people were made instantly homeless - many of whom could never return home
11 retail properties (plots) were demolished during and soon after the blast
7 other retail properties (plots) are still awaiting demolition as they have remained dangerous structures
28 businesses were closed behind police cordons, of which 7 were permanently closed due to their destruction
Over 100 residential properties suffered damage caused by the blast
Every victim of this explosion has incurred significant personal debt and / or suffered mental health issues as a direct result the impact of the explosion
of BBC News
On the scale of disasters in the UK since the last War, this was a massive humanitarian disaster. Thankfully and surprisingly, no-one died, which is possibly why it has been under-reported in media. However many hundreds of people suffered in different ways.
The cause of the explosion was very quickly deduced to be a "gas explosion". Usually, gas explosions are small events which impact only the seat of the explosion and those buildings adjacent to it, maybe only four or five buildings.
However, this explosion was nothing ordinary. The physical area of damage to properties covered 1.5km2, it's power was felt over 5 miles away throughout various parts of Wirral, and it was heard across many areas of Merseyside, Lancashire and even across parts of North Wales. Zoom out on the Google map to locate New Ferry and understand how wide was the reach of this explosion.
The true scale of the explosion is described in a report written and published on 14th September 2018.
The report details the mapped physical distribution of material damage as well as describing the psychological, welfare and financial impact on the community. Click this link to see the report in full on our site here.
Pascal Blasio, 57, of Gillingham in Kent, caused the blast at his furniture store in New Ferry, Wirral.
The businessman was found guilty after a trial of causing an explosion likely to endanger life and of fraud in relation to an insurance claim for more than £50,000. The blast happened when Blasio opened a valve in his Homes In Style shop to release gas and switched on an electric fire at about 9.15pm on Saturday 25 March 2017.
Contract Natural Gas pleaded guilty to an offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 by failing to ensure that gas supply pipes were disconnected. The company was fined £320,000 and ordered to pay £50,000 towards the prosecution costs.
Images from the immediate aftermath
These photos are all of the immediate aftermath of the explosion as shown in media.
As you can see, it was so strong that it completely destroyed all of the proximal buildings. The restaurant was full of diners. The homes all had families living in them, some with children asleep upstairs, many with pets nestled in for the night. All images courtesy of Liverpool Echo, unless stated otherwise.
We have more galleries, which include photos of the interiors of homes and commercial properties, so that you can see just how severe the impact was upon so many people.
The Reach of the New Ferry Explosion
The power of the New Ferry Explosion was felt over 5 miles away throughout the whole of the Wirral peninsula, and was also heard across many areas of Merseyside, Lancashire and even across parts of North Wales.
However, prior to October 2018, media articles always described the physical damage as only affecting a "few shops and homes". Everyone in the community knew this not to be true, as homes were damaged over a very large area.
Therefore, as a part of uncovering the truth, in August 2018 the community offered information detailing the damage that had occurred to their properties, and this was mapped as shown below. In the short two weeks of data collection, at least 169 properties were reported to have damage resulting directly from the explosion.
Feel free to zoom out on the Google map below, so that you can appreciate how far the power of the explosion was heard and felt, and also understand how the extent of damage to buildings covered such a wide area of over 1.5km2
Aims of this Website
News, pictures and stories about the New Ferry Explosion are plentiful on the web, but they are scattered far and wide and so require a determined web hunt to find the specific information you may require. Also, media articles have often been factually incorrect and are frequently written with bias toward governing authorities.
This website, created, maintained and updated by residents and traders from New Ferry and Port Sunlight, many of whom were directly and indirectly impacted by the explosion, aims to provide you with the full story. The information contained herein is sourced from all of the information available across the web and also kindly provided directly by those involved. All information is appropriately referenced (where possible) in a style similar to that used by Wikipedia.
NewFerryExplosion.com is a work in progress, and since there is such a vast amount of information to add, we are having to add much of the content retrospectively, so please bear with us as we continue to construct the site as quickly as possible! If you have any suggestions for relevant content that you think should be added to this website, then please do let us know via our contact form here.