Police name man killed in Andover house explosion as James Kirkby

Will Metcalfe
Gas engineers and an urban search and rescue team at the scene in Launcelot Close, Andover, where James Kirkby’s body was found on Thursday. (PA).

A man who was killed when his house collapsed following a gas blast has been named by police.

James Kirkby, 48, of Launcelot Close, Andover, was pronounced dead at the scene following the blast in the early hours of Thursday.

Specialist officers with Hampshire Constabulary remain at the scene as they investigate the cause of the explosion. Neighbours were evacuated as a precaution.

No other injuries were reported and all those listed as living at the address have been accounted for.

An aerial view of the scene in Launcelot Close, Andover, where Hampshire Police say that the body of a James Kirkby was found after an explosion caused a building to collapse on Thursday. (PA).

Chief Inspector Kory Thorne, Test Valley district commander, asked people not to speculate on the details of the incident.

He said: “We would like to thank people for their patience while we deal with this incident.

“We know this has had an impact on the local community, and we’re grateful to our partners who have supported those evacuated from the adjoining terrace.

“The process of searching the site safely and establishing the exact circumstances of what happened is likely to take some time.”