An investigation has begun after an 84-year-old woman died following a devastating gas explosion at her home in Shetland.
Tributes were yesterday being paid to the grandmother, named locally as Peggy Griffiths, who was rushed to hospital from the scene in Brae but died of her injuries, including severe burns, hours later.
A teenager was also taken to Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick with minor injuries following the blast on Tuesday, just after 2pm.
Matt Mason, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s (SFRS) group manager for Shetland, said: “A joint investigation will be carried out between Police Scotland and SFRS to establish the full facts and circumstances.”
Flowers were left outside the home in Ockragarth, a cul-de-sac of a housing estate known locally in Brae as Toy Town, situated in the north of Mainland Shetland.
It is understood propane cylinders providing gas to the house – there is no mains supply in Shetland – exploded.
The teenager was in an upstairs room watching TV or playing computer games when the explosion happened.
Neighbours described how he miraculously managed to “slide out” of the building with minor injuries.
However, Mrs Griffiths was not so fortunate and was described as having borne the “full brunt” of the explosion while in the kitchen.
Police Chief Inspector Lindsay Tulloch added: “Our thoughts are with the lady’s family and friends at this very difficult time for them.
“Our inquiries to establish the full circumstances are ongoing with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. However, there are no apparent suspicious circumstances.
“A report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal in due course.”
Fire crews from Brae, Lerwick, Scalloway and Hillswick attended the explosion, which then led to a fire. The house was completely destroyed.
Matt Mason, of SFRS, said: “We responded at 2.12pm on Tuesday alongside emergency service partners to reports of an explosion at a house in the Brae area of Shetland.
“Operations control mobilised four fire appliances to the area and firefighters assisted in the removal of a woman from the building and transferred her into the care of the Scottish Ambulance Service.
“Sadly, after being taken to hospital, she later passed away.
“Our thoughts are very much with her family, friends and the wider community at this difficult time.”
North mainland councillor Emma Macdonald said it was “terrible news”, adding: “My thoughts are very much with the family involved and the whole community.”
Neighbour Georgia Smith said: “It just went ‘kaboom’. I assumed it was gas. It’s like a bombsite.
“The boy came rolling out, covered in everything but pretty much unscathed. Peggy was in the kitchen and she took the brunt of it.”