Today marks a year since the explosion at Galpin’s Road that led to the death of Sahara Salman, injured several other people, and devastated the local community.

The Met Police are still working on the investigation in order to establish the circumstances leading to the explosion.

Firefighters were called to the scene in Galpin’s Road in Thornton Heath shortly after 7am on Monday, August 8, 2022.

Six fire engines and around 40 firefighters were sent to the scene where the terraced house collapsed.

More than 500 people were evacuated from Galpin’s Road, after a blast destroyed a terraced house and killed four-year-old Sahara Salman.

Your Local Guardian: Undated family handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of Sahara SalmanUndated family handout photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of Sahara Salman (Image: PA)

The girl’s mother, Sana Ahmad, accused Southern Gas Networks (SGN) of neglecting problems in the area and said her “world has been torn apart”.

The NHS receptionist told the Evening Standard she reported the smell of gas to the utility firm 10 days before the blast, but the family’s concerns were dismissed, and a follow-up inspection did not happen.

Three other people were seriously injured, including an 11-year-old boy and a 54-year-old woman.

Labour MP Ms McDonagh, who represents Mitcham and Morden, said the financial burden of helping residents affected by the blast has largely been left on the local council.

She told PA: “In spite of assurances in the debate I got in the House of Commons, there has actually been very little help given by the Government to the local council.

“When the explosion happened, it was the council that tried to place 500 people overnight in temporary accommodation.

“It’s an enormous task and I think the Government should have a bigger role to play.”

She added that Sahara’s family will not “have any sort of closure” until the police investigation has been completed.

“It was devastating… I imagine it’s like being in suspended animation,” she said.

“I know that the police are doing a painstaking investigation and obviously that’s important, but I would urge them to come to a conclusion as quickly as they can.”

South West BCU Commander Clair Kelland said: “Our hearts remain with Sahara, her family and the community.”

Councillor Ross Garrod, Leader of Merton Council said: “Today marks the first anniversary of the incident at Galpin's Road that saw the tragic loss of Sahara Salman’s life and which has impacted hundreds of residents on the road and beyond. 

“The council continues to work with the community and will support them for as long as they need us to. Our thoughts are with them all on this difficult day.”