Nearby residents thought Grantham substation explosion was bomb or train crash

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Homeowners near to the blaze at a Grantham substation yesterday evening have spoken of their initial fears on hearing it explode.

Shaken by the explosion at the Spring Gardens substation, which he overlooks from his fourth floor apartment in Porter Square, was Wesley Lucas.

“The whole building shook,” said the 21-year-old. “I thought at first that there must have been a train crash. I looked outside and saw all this black smoke rising up.”

His girlfriend Eleanor Mayne, 21, added: “Everything shook, we really thought at the time a train must have crashed.”

Among the closest homes to the blaze was that of 83-year-old William Chambers, of The Lindens on Springfield Road.

“I was in my kitchen when I heard this bang. I thought another lorry had hit the railway bridge, but when I looked out the window I could see the black plumes of smoke,” said Mr Chambers.

“The police put tape around the tree in front of my house and stopped people using the road. At the playground on the other side there were lots of young children out playing at the time, but eventually the police told them to move back as they were all trying to get pictures.

“I stayed inside as I thought that was the safest thing to do. I used to work for the electricity board so I know how dangerous it can be.” added Mr Chambers.

His neighbour, 25-year-old Paulina Tokarczyk, said she was terrified when she heard what she thought was a bomb explode while she was in her kitchen, and her three-year-old daughter Lena was in the front room.

“It sounded like a bomb, and felt like someone had punched the house sideways or something,” she said. “We saw them get everyone away from the play area. I was surprised they were letting children that young stay outside with all the smoke.”

All the residents experienced power outages, but said that their electricity returned soon afterwards.

An investigation into the cause of the blaze continues.