AN inquest has opened into the death of a man who died in a garage explosion.

Christopher Jones died from exposure to fire, smoke and fumes in a garage explosion, the inquest heard.

The explosion happened at Coed Camlas in Pontypool on July 22.

Mr Jones had previously been sectioned at the Torfaen-based Talygarn unit at County Hospital, until he was granted two-hour leave without supervision on the day of his death.

At the inquest, coroner Caroline Saunders said that the case is currently subject to an investigation by Gwent Police and Aneurin Bevan Health Board.

A spokeswoman from the health board confirmed this, saying: “The health board would like to express its deepest condolences to the family of Mr Jones.

“The health board can confirm that a Serious Incident investigation has commenced which will undertake a comprehensive review of the care Mr Jones received from the health board’s mental health services.’’

Reacting to the investigation, stepfather Brian Travers said: “We were hoping for an external investigation, not an internal investigation.

“We look forward to seeing what will come of this.”

A coroner’s officer said that Mr Jones was identified on Wednesday, August 14 by DNA analysis.

He said: “On arrival the fire was extinguished by the South Wales Fire Service. Police officers discovered the body of a male identified on Wednesday, August 14 by DNA analysis as Christopher Steven Richard Jones.

“The deceased was conveyed to the University of Wales hospital, where a post-mortem was carried out.

“The provisional cause of death was given as 1A exposure to fire, smoke and fumes. Gwent Police and Aneurin Bevan Health Board are continuing enquiries into the circumstances surrounding the death.

“Mr Jones was liable to be detained under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act.”

Ms Saunders adjourned the inquest until Tuesday, January 7.