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Oldham gas explosion victims receive £125,000 from Greater Manchester Disaster Relief Fund

By Ben Burrows

Forever Manchester are awarding £125,000 to Oldham Council to help those affected by the Shaw gas explosion.

The donation has been made out of the Greater Manchester Disaster Relief Fund – a special fund that is used to support the victims of large scale and personal disasters – which Forever Manchester are responsible for.

The fund helps to cover costs that provide immediate relief to victims, such as providing families with clothes and furniture when people have had to flee their homes due to violence or disasters like the explosion in Shaw.

Councillor Jean Stretton, Oldham Council’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “We are delighted that Forever Manchester have made such a significant donation.”

“The tragic events in Shaw have clearly touched people beyond Oldham. This donation reflects the scale of the explosion and the depth of feeling across Greater Manchester.

“We are very lucky in this region to have Forever Manchester, which is a really dedicated and innovative fundraising body. We are extremely grateful to them, and all those who support them, for this fantastic contribution.”

Jamie Heaton died in the blast on Buckley Street on June 26 and hundreds of families from the surrounding houses had to be evacuated.

Chief Executive of Forever Manchester Nick Massey said: “The Disaster Relief Fund has proven once again to be a major support to the people of Greater Manchester.

“It is essential that we continue to grow this fund to ensure that help is always available should the region suffer such disasters in the future,” he said. “People can donate to this fund at any time through Forever Manchester.”

Jim McMahon, Oldham Council Leader, added: “The total now available for dispersal amongst the affected residents in Shaw now stands at around £235,000.”

“This is a remarkable sum and we know there’s more to come because there are several fundraising community events still to take place.

“Clearly this a fantastic achievement but unfortunately we still need more. Dozens of properties have been affected and many residents have incurred considerable losses and expenses.

“So our message is a massive ‘Thank You!’ to Forever Manchester and all the people and businesses that have already donated, and a continued plea for donations to help provide all the support residents need.”

 


COMPLETELY FLATTENED: Homes turned to debris in Oldham explosion

 


EMERGENCY SERVICES ON SCENE: Crews try to rescue residents

 


FIREFIGHTERS: Crews in Buckley Street after explosion

 


BLOWN APART: Explosion rips through homes

 


HOMES DAMAGED: Huge explosion destroys street in Shaw


SEARCH AND RESCUE: Emergency crews looked for ‘unaccounted for’ people

BLAST SITE: Buckley Street, Oldham


EXTENSIVE DAMAGE: Police cordon off the gas explosion site


BLAST DEBRIS: Police and fire officers survey the scene



DEVASTATION: The blast site

DEVASTATION: Debris at the scene


ON SCENE: Experts assess the site

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