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01/03/2007

Residents evacuated after gas blaze

More than 20 families have spent the night away from their homes after a blaze broke out in the outskirts of Coleraine.

Two gas cylinders went on fire in Ballygallin Park in the Ballysally estate yesterday, leading to fears there would be an explosion.

The Housing Executive is working to provide accommodation for some residents.

Bill Wilsden, fire and rescue service district commander told reporters he hoped those evicted would be able to return to their homes by lunchtime today.

He said: “Acetylene is a very unstable substance when it’s involved in a fire and in order to make the place as safe as possible we must ensure that we keep a cordon around it for 24 hours.”

There were no injuries.

(JM)