Man missing after suspected gas explosion in Killarney

Monday 15 July 2013 17.54
1 of 3
Several buildings were damaged in the explosion (Pic: Tom Randles)
Several buildings were damaged in the explosion (Pic: Tom Randles)
The blast caused damage to several  adjacent buildings
The blast caused damage to several adjacent buildings
The area has been cordoned off for an inspection
The area has been cordoned off for an inspection

A man remains missing after a suspected gas explosion in Killarney, Co Kerry at 6.20am.

James Gleeson, 59, has not been seen since the blast at a laundrette on Brewery Lane in the centre of the town.

The search for the missing man is being suspended overnight but will resume in the morning. 

Inspectors from the Health and Safety Authority have been at the scene with fire brigade teams and gardaí all day. 

Gardaí have been trying to establish the man's whereabouts since the blast.

It blew out the walls of the building and the windows of more than a dozen businesses on nearby College Square, College Street and Plunkett Street.

A number of people were treated for minor injuries at the scene. One woman was taken to hospital, but her injuries are not serious.

The blast is believed to have been caused by gas, but the cause has not yet been confirmed. It was felt over 1km away.

A hotel that backs onto the building where the explosion happened is among the premises including homes and businesses that have been evacuated.

Mayor of Killarney Councillor Paddy Courtney praised the emergency services for their swift response.

"I would like to pay tribute to the emergency services for the professional way they dealt with the situation" he said.

"In addition I want to praise the business community in Killarney who have rallied around to help each other - in particular the hotels in Killarney which acted swiftly to provide alternative accommodation to visitors who had to vacate their own hotels," Mayor Courtney added. 

Keywords: killarney, kerry