Scot among seven missing following fatal gas explosion at Jersey flats

Raymond Brown is believed to have been killed following the explosion at a block of flats in St Helier on Saturday.

Scottish pensioner among seven people missing following fatal gas explosion in St Helier, Jersey Jersey Police

A pensioner from Glasgow is among seven believed to have been killed following a fatal gas explosion at a block of flats in Jersey.

Raymond ‘Raymie’ Brown was among seven names released by Jersey Police as missing after a block of flats were destroyed in an explosion in St Helier on Saturday.

Five people have been confirmed as dead and a dozen are said to be missing after the explosion, which occurred just before 4am.

Tributes have been paid to the 71-year-old, originally from King’s Park in Glasgow, following the news.

Friend Ken Snarey wrote on Facebook: “You will be sadly missed mate, by many many people here in Jersey.

“I enjoyed all the fun we had over the last 30 years and you always put a smile on my face and had me in stitches many times. RIP my friend XX.”

Derek and Sylvia Ellis, 61 and 73, Romeu and Louise de Almeida, 67 and 64, Peter Bowler, 72, and Billy Marsden, 62, have also been named by police as those believed to have been killed in the explosion.

Emergency services confirmed that they are now treating the scene as a “recovery operation” rather than a search and rescue.

Jersey Fire and Rescue Service’s chief fire officer, Paul Brown, confirmed at a press conference on Saturday that firefighters had carried out investigations on the three-storey building just hours before the huge blast.

Chief of Jersey Police Robin Smith said: “It is with sadness that I am confirming that the search and rescue operation had been moved to a recovery operation.

“The decision was made after a detailed assessment and following the use of specialist K9 units.

“Disaster victim identification (DVI) strategies are in place and specialist officers are surveying the scene with fire and ambulance services and tactical advisers from urban search and rescue (USAR).”