A MAN was killed in a garage explosion in Pontypool yesterday.

Ambulances, police, a fire engine and helicopter were all called to the scene of the blast in Coed Camplas estate just after 11am. Police later confirmed that one person had been killed and added it was too early to confirm whether the death can be treated as suspicious.

A spokeswoman said yesterday: “We received reports of an explosion in a garage at a property in the Coed Camlas area of Pontypool. There has been significant damage caused to the property and a cordon is in place.

“We can now confirm that one man was sadly pronounced deceased at the scene.

“Formal identification has yet to take place and the owners of the property will be supported by specialist officers.

“The cause of death has yet to be established and this will be determined following a post-mortem (examination).

“Emergency services including South Wales Fire and Rescue and South Wales Ambulance are currently on the scene and will remain for the rest of the day.

“As there has been significant damage caused to the premises, a cordon is still in place.”

Steve Williams, Wales and West Utilities gas emergency service manager for Pontypool, added: “We were called to reports of an explosion at a property in the Coed Camlas area of Pontypool and immediately sent an engineer to the scene. The explosion was not related to the mains gas network.”

The exact cause of the blast is not yet known, but engineers have ruled out a gas leak.

The blast caused damage to the building next door.

Residents in the estate have since expressed their concerns and sympathy.

One said: “I woke up to a massive bang.

“The whole estate is in shock.

“My thoughts are with those affected.”

Elizabeth Cowel and Lisa Cox, who both live nearby, said: “You could see flames right up in the air.

“We thought a bomb had gone off. You could smell the smoke.”

And another resident added: “I heard a big bang and there was a lot of smoke, then later I heard a fire engine go past and a helicopter flying over.”