Council committed to working with communities and partners to support those affected by Kincaidston explosion
Following the devastating explosion in Kincaidston, Ayr on Monday evening, South Ayrshire Council continue to work closely with the emergency services and other partners to ensure people can return safely to their homes as soon as possible.
The force of the explosion caused considerable damage and work to allow people to return to their homes is complex. Firstly, the immediate area had to be made safe to work in by specialist demolition contractors, before the electricity supply in the vicinity of the incident could be made safe. Following this, work will be required in the immediate area of the incident to re-establish the gas supply to the wider area.
A significant number of homes in the Kincaidston area were cordoned off by the emergency services shortly after the explosion. Work to reduce the extent of this cordon has been carried out. This involved the Council's Building Standards staff working with Police Scotland and other agencies to visually inspect each house to determine where it was safe to reduce the cordon. Any decision to reduce the cordon further will be taken by the emergency services.
Council staff are providing support in a range of ways. Officers from our Housing and Thriving Communities teams are working closely with those affected to identify their immediate and longer-term needs. Any residents who cannot return to their homes are being accommodated in local hotels or are staying with friends and family. Our Neighbourhood Services teams will soon begin the task of clearing the debris from the wider area.
We recognise the disruption this has caused, and that people are anxious to return to their homes to begin to pick up their lives and deal with the consequences of this tragedy. However, we can only do this once the sequence of events described above has been completed safely.
The focus of support is now the Community Centre in Kincaidston, where the community association are doing an outstanding job of supporting their community. We are working with the community association to identify what material support is required and making an initial grant available to the association to cover their immediate costs.
We will work with those affected and the community association to clarify what support is still needed as we move forward and will make the public aware of that in due course.
We would once again like to thank individuals and businesses for their support for all those affected - this is very much appreciated.
Leader of South Ayrshire Council, Councillor Peter Henderson said: "The explosion in Gorse Park on Monday has left many families in the community in a terrible situation, and my thoughts are with all those who have been affected by this tragedy.
"I've been humbled to see the overwhelming community spirit, as people are pulling together and working alongside our services in this time of crisis.
"We are continuing to work with the emergency services and partner agencies to ensure that no one will be out of their home a minute longer than is absolutely necessary.
"I'd like to extend my gratitude to all those who are working together to support the Kincaidston community at this very difficult time. We know that we're in this for the long haul, and we will come through this together."
If you are one of the households affected by the explosion, you can contact 0300 123 0900 for more information.