Couple suffered serious burns after illegal gas work carried out by plumber

A plumber from Lincolnshire has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for carrying out illegal gas work after a couple suffered serious burns following a major explosion at their home.

Daniel George Hickling, trading at DGH Plumbing and Heating, was hired by the couple, who have asked not to be named, to reduce the height of two redundant LPG gas pipes in their old kitchen which was being converted into a lounge at their home in Nettleton.

After the plumber left the property in July 2011, the couple realised that the gas supply had not been turned back on so the householder went to the LPG tank in the garden and reset the valve to restore the gas supply to their home.

A short while after the couple could smell gas and went to investigate. When the householder was trying to find the source of the leak it ignited.

The explosion was so severe it blew out all nearly all the windows on the ground floor of the couple’s home.

The male occupant of the property suffered severe burns to his hands, forearm and scalp and has had to undergo a skin graft to his hands from which he is still recovering. His wife suffered serious burns to her lower legs and feet.

They had to live in a caravan for a year whilst their home was repaired.

The HSE investigation into the incident found that Mr Hickling had never been registered with Gas Safe and was neither qualified nor competent to carry out the work. It is thought that he damaged one of the pipes while excavating part of the floor around the pipe causing a puncture to it.

Melanie Lidstone-Land, expert personal injury lawyer at Swain & Co Solicitors, says, “The seriousness of this accident cannot be understated, and the couple are lucky to be alive, but will carry the scars of their injuries for the rest of their life.”

“Anyone who carries out work involving gas pipes or appliances without being “Gas Safe” registered are breaking the law. This incident is an example of why this requirement is so vital; it saves lives and it prevents people getting injured.”

If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, speak to Melanie about the possibility of making a personal injury claim. Melanie is happy to offer free initial advice.

We work on a No Win No Fee basis, so if your personal injury claim is unsuccessful, you will not pay us a penny.

So, call Melanie for free on 0800 0351 999.