A court said that an explosion had injured 81 people and caused a "total devastation".

On Wednesday, a jury of the Liverpool Crown Court watched on CCTV footage of the moment of the gas explosion, which occurred around 9:15 pm on March 25, 2017 in New Ferry, Wirral.

The footage shows a huge flash of lightning and flying debris from surrounding buildings, then people running towards the source of the blast.

Pascal Blasio, 57, of Gillingham in Kent, denies having caused the explosion of his Homes In Style furniture store, located on Bebington Road, as well as a fraud chief related to a claim for damages. assurance he made as a result of the blast.

Nigel Lawrence QC, in charge of the prosecution, told the jury that the blast had been "almost apocalyptic".

He added that 63 properties were destroyed or damaged during the explosion and that 81 people were injured, including lacerations, burns and psychological trauma.

Firefighters photographed monitoring the devastation following the New Ferry Explosion on the Wirral in March 2017.

Firefighters photographed monitoring the devastation following the New Ferry Explosion on the Wirral in March 2017.

The explosion that injured 81 people and caused a "total devastation" was a job in the insurance field that "was seriously detrimental," said a court

The explosion, which injured 81 people and caused a "total devastation", was a job in the insurance sector, which "went wrong," said a court

Among the wounded was 21-year-old Lewis Jones, who had suffered a serious brain injury and remained "hooked on life". The court learned that Mr. Jones was still supported by a neuro-rehabilitation consultant and that he could no longer work since the incident.

Mr. Lawrence said, "When you hear and listen to the evidence, you will have no trouble concluding that, in this case, the fact that this explosion caused the death of no one was a miracle. .

"The explosion that occurred in New Ferry on the night of March 25, 2017 could easily have claimed many lives.

"It's really luck, pure luck, that prevented that from happening."

Mr. Lawrence testified that witnesses described hearing a "deafening and almighty explosion" and being shaken by the force of the explosion.

He said: "The scene that immediately followed the explosion was that of total chaos.

The consequences of the explosion and devastation of New Ferry on the main street of Bebington Road, New Ferry, on the Wirral

The consequences of the explosion and devastation of New Ferry on the main street of Bebington Road, New Ferry, on the Wirral

Nigel Lawrence QC, in charge of the prosecution, told the jury that the blast had been "almost apocalyptic", with 63 properties damaged or destroyed

Nigel Lawrence QC, in charge of the prosecution, told the jury that the blast had been "almost apocalyptic", with 63 properties damaged or destroyed

The nighttime video surveillance footage of the explosion at Homes In Style store in New Ferry, Wirral, show the intensity of the blast

The nighttime video surveillance footage of the explosion at Homes In Style store in New Ferry, Wirral, show the intensity of the blast

"People were running everywhere. People were lying on the ground screaming and crying. People were stunned and confused. The scene was one of total devastation.

The blast swept the front of a Chinese restaurant, which was bursting with diners, leaving guests covered with glass and rubble.

Windows of a pub and neighboring houses were also blown. Two people were seriously injured in the explosion and 31 others described as "walking injuries".

Builder Martin Lennon, 53, said at the time: "It was like a war zone, it was a nightmare."

The court heard that the blast had occurred in the Blasio furniture store, called Homes in Style, on Bebington Road.

Mr. Blasio's store was supplied with gas by a gas line running through the gas line on the road. The pipe was initially connected to a gas meter, but it had been removed a few years earlier.

A supply of gas in the Blasio property has been altered, prosecutors said, allowing gasoline to accumulate to the level needed to cause an explosion, then ignited and provoked explosion.

A supply of gas in the Blasio property has been altered, prosecutors said, allowing gasoline to accumulate to the level needed to cause an explosion, then ignited and provoked explosion.

A huge strip of the area had to be fenced off while emergency services intervened, then the rubble must be cleared

A huge strip of the area had to be fenced off while emergency services intervened, then the rubble must be cleared

The investigation revealed that the explosion had been caused by a buildup of gas in the Blasio furniture store, where a plug had been deliberately removed from a pipe and control valve. urgency had been turned to allow the gas to escape.

The explosion occurred when the gas came into contact with an "unidentified ignition source" which, according to Mr. Lawrence, may well be an electrical appliance installed in the store.

Mr. Lawrence said, "Mr. Blasio removed the shutter by turning the emergency control valve, allowing the gas to flow to the end of the pipe.

"This deliberate act has allowed the gas to gradually fill the property. You will hear that the gas must mix with the air to reach a fuel level at which it can ignite and explode.

"It can take several hours, depending on a number of factors, including the breakdown of the property.

& # 39; However, once reached this level of fuel, any source of ignition will cause an explosion. That's exactly what happened. & # 39;

He added: "Very simply for the moment, Mr. Blasio, as a result of the explosion, was made an accomplice by filing a fraudulent application with NFU Mutual concerning furniture that would have been lost or destroyed. during the explosion. NFU were the insurers of the store and the furniture it contained.

"So, in a nutshell and in simple terms, expressing it as brutally as I can for you, it was an insurance job, but that, given the scale of what happened, may have gone wrong. "

Pascal George Francois Blasio, 56, of Gillingham, Kent, is accused of causing a life-threatening explosion

Pascal George Francois Blasio, 56, of Gillingham, Kent, is accused of causing a life-threatening explosion

Pascal George Francois Blasio
Pascal George Francois Blasio

Prosecutors said today that it did not matter whether Blasio, pictured in the photo, had the intention of causing such harm or danger, but "he deliberately caused the". explosion of any nature likely to be life threatening or to cause serious injury ".

He added: "It may be that Mr. Blasio does not intend to destroy or completely damage as many buildings. It may well be that he had no intention of hurting anyone.

"He may have only intended to damage his own store and the furniture in it by lighting a fire or causing an explosion.

& # 39; None of this is relevant.

"It deliberately caused the explosion of a nature likely to be life threatening or to cause serious injury. He did so and was then complicit in filing a fraudulent insurance claim for furniture allegedly lost in the blast and for the loss of their belongings. & # 39;

Witnesses said they saw furniture being moved from the store on the day of the blast and the day before. They said the store was "practically empty" and that a sign on the door indicated that it would be closed for three days.

The test should last up to four weeks.

Blasio denies having caused an explosion that could be life threatening or result in serious injury or fraud.

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