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Man dies in explosion at Dublin homeless hostel

Man dies in explosion at Dublin homeless hostel

A technical examination was under way on Thursday night after a man died in an explosion at a hostel in Dublin city centre.

Dublin Fire Brigade and gardai were called to the scene on Little Britain Street, off Capel Street, following reports of a blast inside the Depaul homeless hostel, after 3.15pm.

Gardai said a man was fatally injured and there are no reports of any other injuries.

The explosion was confined to one room within the hostel.

Residents were evacuated from the premises and a wide cordon was established, with traffic diversions in place and a heavy garda presence around the scene.

Locals and members of the public were seen asking gardai about the cordon, and one woman who lives near the area asked a garda if she was safe in her accommodation.

Dublin explosion
Emergency services attended the scene on Little Britain Street, off Capel Street (Brian Lawless/PA)

“It came up on the news feed that there was an explosion. So I just asked the guard there now ‘are we safe?'” the woman, who did not want to be named, told the PA news agency.

“Because we were looking down on it earlier not knowing the facts.

“My sister is visiting and she heard the explosion around 2pm-ish. I didn’t because I had the tap running and the vent on over the cooker.”

Dublin explosion
The cause of the explosion was under investigation and a forensic examination of the scene was under way (Brian Lawless/PA)

She said the gardai had told her she was safe.

It is understood that the homeless hostel is busy, and the woman said she believed it was usually full.

“I knew by the numbers of gardai and everything that there was a fatality involved,” she said.

“God love him. I don’t know what the circumstances are, hopefully the rest of them are safe.”

Depaul said it was working with the Dublin Regional Homelessness Executive (DRHE) and was looking for alternative places for the residents.

It is understood that former residents were picked up by taxis at a nearby location and taken to new accommodation.

It said in a statement: “Depaul can confirm that there was an incident this afternoon in our Little Britain Street service.

“It was a localised incident confined to one room. All service users will be evacuated from the building tonight and alternative placements will be found.

“Depaul are working with the DRHE and our NGO partners to ensure no person will be left without accommodation this evening.”

The cause of the explosion was under investigation and a forensic examination of the scene was under way on Thursday.

The scene in Little Britain Street off Capel Street
Residents were evacuated from the premises and a cordon established (Brian Lawless/PA)

It is understood that gardai do not suspect foul play after an initial assessment of the scene.

Dublin City Council said that firefighters and advanced paramedics from Phibsborough, Tara Street and North Strand fire stations responded to the incident and brought it under control by 3.35pm.

A spokesperson said: “Our priority is to safely re-accommodate all residents tonight. Our sincere thanks to our NGO partners, An Garda Siochana and Dublin Fire Brigade who are assisting on the ground.”

In total, five fire engines were mobilised to the scene along with a district officer.

The assistance of ESB Networks, Gas Networks Ireland and An Garda Siochana was requested and the scene was handed over to gardai at 4.15pm.