Jersey explosion: Oldham man among the nine people killed in blast

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Peter Bowler is among seven of the victims to be named so far.

A man from Oldham is understood to be among the nine people who died following an explosion in Jersey.

A blast shook the island’s capital, St Helier, at around 4am on Saturday. Seven of those who lost their lives have been named as Peter Bowler, 72, formerly of Oldham, Raymond (Raymie) Brown, 71, Romeu and Louise De Almeida, 67 and 64, Derek and Sylvia Ellis, 61 and 73, and Billy Marsden, 63.

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Peter’s nephew Daniel told ITV News that he had learned of the tragedy when he saw the news on TV. He said: “I contacted my mother and said ‘have you seen the news? There’s been an explosion, a massive explosion in Jersey’.

“And then it was just a process of elimination. It became apparent it was on Uncle Pete’s street. And then it became evident that it was the flat my uncle lived in, and then it was a case of hope, turning to despair.”

Daniel added: “He was a great guy, a great guy, a great character.

“He was young at heart. I’ll always admire that. Just a great a great bloke. An inspiration for me.

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“And then as I process it the reality that you’ll you’ll never see him again - it’s a lot to take in.

“And that’s morphed into a feeling which I have now of wondering what happened?”

Jersey’s Chief of Police Robin Smith said: “The number of islanders confirmed to have died in the blast is now nine.

“The families have been made aware of this announcement before the public and media and continue to be supported by our specially trained Family Liaison Officers.

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“We believe there are no more residents that remain unaccounted for.

“The search operation will continue until the site has been fully cleared.

“The fatalities have not yet been formally identified.

“The Disaster Victim Identification process will be carefully considered and managed in a dignified and compassionate way.

“The thoughts of all of us at States of Jersey Police are with everyone affected, in particular those who lost loved ones in what has been a tragic incident for our Island and our community.”

The cause remains under investigation.

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