Edinburgh house explosion: Evacuated Baberton neighbours still don't know if or when they can go home

The scene of destruction after the explosion in Baberton Mains AvenueThe scene of destruction after the explosion in Baberton Mains Avenue
The scene of destruction after the explosion in Baberton Mains Avenue
Eight homes still sealed off nearly two months after explosion

A couple whose house was damaged in an explosion in Edinburgh before Christmas are still waiting to hear if or when they can return to their home.

Gary and Norma Taylor lived close to the two houses destroyed when a suspected gas explosion ripped through one of the properties in Baberton Mains Avenue on Friday December 1.

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James Smith, 84, was killed in the blast and a man and a woman were taken to hospital. Neighbours on the street were evacuated, with many homes and parked cars damaged, tiles missing from roofs and windows smashed.

Mr and Mrs Taylor escaped injury but have been living in temporary accommodation nearby ever since. They told the BBC they had no idea if or when they would be allowed to return to their home.

Mr Taylor said: "We're not looking for sympathy, we're looking for action."

Eight houses, including the two destroyed, remain sealed off. The Health and Safety Executive and Police Scotland are still investigating.

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Mrs Taylor said: "We don't want to go back in there until someone, on our behalf, is saying 'this is safe and sound for you to move back in, and you'll be able to sell it whenever you want and insure it'."

The couple's insurance will not cover the structural report required, meaning they will have to pay for it themselves, the BBC reported.

The city council said it had been in regular contact with residents and was liaising with the different insurance companies about permanent repairs.

Leader Cammy Day said: "The investigation by the Health and Safety Executive is ongoing. However, we have a statutory responsibility to keep the public safe.

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"We are currently determining whether further intrusive surveys are needed to some of the adjacent properties to assess the extent of the structural damage suffered by those homes, and we will continue to keep all those affected residents updated."

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