A TERRIFYING gas blast in Mirfield was caused by scrap metal thieves, police have revealed.
The explosion just before 6am on Saturday blew out the roof and wall of a lean-to at a home on Hepworth Lane, Mirfield, scattering rubble into the street.
And it has now emerged that thieves had cut through copper pipework.
A 53-year old woman, who had been in the house at the time of the explosion, was not injured by the blast.
The woman triggered the blast after turning on a kitchen light but escaped the property unharmed.
Kirklees police later discovered the blast was caused by a gas leak after thieves stole copper piping that attached a gas meter to the boiler of the house.
Detectives are now appealing for information from people who may have seen scrap metal collectors in the area.
Det Con Paul Greatorex, of Dewsbury CID, said: “This incident could have been a lot more serious and the occupant of the house has been very lucky to escape uninjured.
“Whoever has taken this copper piping has clearly neglected to think of not only their own safety, but also that of innocent people in the area.
“I am therefore appealing for anyone with any information on this incident, or anybody who has witnessed any people looking for, or trying to obtain, scrap metal in and around the Mirfield area over the last few days to contact me via or 01924 431012.”
The explosion on Sunday morning saw police evacuate neighbours and install a 180ft (55m) cordon as fire service, gas company and structural engineers investigated the scene.
Traffic was also diverted while the gas supply to the area was cut and the area made safe.
The area was deemed safe a few hours later and by 11:30am people had been allowed to return to their homes.
Northern Gas Networks spokeswoman, Gwen Allen, said they had worked alongside emergency services to make the scene safe.