Hero dug boy from rubble after terrifying Ayr blast destroyed home, hospitalising family



    Mr Craig, 34, and four neighbours on the estate of Gorse Hill immediately ran towards the site of a blast in the residential street on Monday evening, according to the Daily Record. Mr Craig, who works for a removal company, located an 11-year-old boy whom he helped to safety while checking the youngster for injuries. The boy was then taken to hospital, followed by Mr Craig and his partner, Vicky, on the advice of emergency services which arrived on the scene shortly after.

    Mr Craig recalled the terrifying moments following the blast: “I was out the back when I heard the blast and it sounded like a bomb had landed.

    “I was shocked but I guess I instinctively ran towards the biggest wreckage because it was obvious that people would be caught in the blast and could be in the wreckage.

    “There was still dust and debris flying around the air but I got to the main heap of rubble and I could see [him] lying there, covered in debris.

    He described finding the 11-year-old: “By this time a few other local guys had come out, same as me, and we started digging him out.

    READ MORE: Ayr gas explosion: Four people taken to hospital

    “It looked like his arm was badly broken and he couldn’t see because he had all the dust in his face and his lungs.

    “I took him into my own house and my partner tried to make sure he didn’t have any catastrophic wounds. It was hard to see what was happening because the wee boy’s pyjamas had melted to his skin.”

    Luckily, Mr Craig revealed, his partner had just finished a training course in first aid and was able to determine that the boy was not concussed before Mr Craig’s brother-in-law took him to the hospital.

    Mr Craig added: “We asked whether or not we should do the run to hospital and the police and ambulance guys who were there said just to go as fast as we could. “They said that staff at Crosshouse Hospital would be told we were coming and to be ready for us.

    “The wee boy was awake and he was asking where his parents were and I think he was confused. He was asking where they were. He’d have been traumatised about being rushed to hospital but it was important to get him there as soon as possible.”

    Mr Craig opened up about how the experience had shaken him, despite his show of heroism.

    He said: “I was still in a total state of shock and unable to take in what was happening but I was just hoping and hoping that they will all pull through this. If you heard the sound of the explosion and saw the aftermath you would not believe that anyone could survive. We are just praying that there is good news.”

    Fellow Gorse Hill residents, Betty Campbell, 77, and daughter Sandra, 50, emerged unscathed from the blast after clambering from a window shattered by the explosion.

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    According to Scotland’s Daily Record, residents had reported a strong smell of gas around the area to their supplier.

    Scottish Gas Networks has denied that they received requests to attend the site before Monday’s explosion.

    Ayr resident Gary Burgess, told the Daily Record: “The smell of gas on Monday was so strong when I went for my morning paper. People were talking about it and you’re always thinking at the back of your mind there could be an explosion.

    “When the blast happened I was sure that a lorry had driven into the side of my house, which is 100 yards down the road from Gorse Park.

    He added: “I heard people say that several complaints had been made to the suppliers so I’d be very interested to see what they have to say about that.

    “All I can say right now is that I hope those involved in the blast get through it. But there needs to be an inquiry to get to the bottom of how it happened.”

    The Scotia Gas Networks (SGN) has said it is “too early to speculate” on the cause of the blast.

    A spokesperson for the company said: “At around 8pm last night we received a request to assist the emergency services following the reports of a serious explosion in Gorse Park, Ayr.

    “We understand four people are being treated at a local hospital and our thoughts are with them and their families. Our engineers are continuing to work with the emergency services to ensure the immediate vicinity is made safe in our role as the gas emergency service.

    “While it is too early to speculate as to what has happened, we are working closely with the authorities to help discover the cause.”


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