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Freak explosion rocks rugby club
STUNNED members of Marlow Rugby Club have been reflecting this week on a freak explosion which could have killed someone.
Two walls were blown up leaving club officials counting their blessings that no-one was injured.
A gas cylinder used to dispense beer exploded in a storage room at the Riverwoods Drive club at about 9am last Friday.
Club chairman Gwyn Stone has been speaking this week of his relief that staff were not in the room at the time, believing the blast could have killed.
He said: "We were fortunate the manager and the groundsman were not in that area at the time. If anyone was in that room I have doubts that anyone could have survived that.
"Parts of the walls were completely blown out; a steel door was blown out and fragments of the cylinder were planted in a metal fridge door.
"I’m fortunate that I’ve never experienced anything like it, but I imagine it to be like an artillery shell going off.
"It obviously shook up the staff but they dealt with it extremely well."
The estimated area of damage is around 15 square feet. Bucks Fire and Rescue and Wycombe District Council’s Building Control Service attended the scene to make sure the building was safe.
But the club house was given the all clear and the drink flowed on Sunday.
CO2 canisters are commonly used in bars.
The council, with assistance from the Health and Safety Executive, has since launched an investigation into how the explosion happened.
MEANWHILE a key member of the rugby club's staff has been revealing her story of how she nearly got caught up in the explosion.
Linda Gillespie, Marlow Rugby Football Club facility manager, has credited a simple cup of coffee for avoiding the accident.
She told the Marlow Free Press she had been lucky to escape injury - or worse - when the explosion happened.
Fortunately, she had moved to the kitchen in order to make a coffee, having just been in the club house bar.
The decision to go and make a drink put her further away from the blast zone.
She said: "I think this week I will be buying a lottery ticket because it is definitely my lucky week."
Besides Mrs Gillespie and the groundsman, there were no other witnesses.
She said: "I was in the kitchen when there was this horrendous kaboom explosion. It was a very frightening and traumatic experience. All alarms were going off, everything was blowing up.
"I called the fire brigade as soon as I could and, although I told them there was nobody else on the premises, they came quite quickly."
The building was secured with temporary scaffoldings.
Mrs Gillespie said the show must go on, while repairs are happening, for its 500 members.
"We were determined to keep the club running," she said.
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