Four-year-old killed in Thornton Heath gas explosion is named

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The four-year-old girl who died after a gas explosion tore through her house in Thornton Heath, South London has been named.

The horrifying blast sent debris flying across Galpin's Road on Monday (August 8) at around 7am.

Sahara Salman, four, was reported missing after the explosion. The London Ambulance Service confirmed she had died yesterday afternoon.

READ MORE: Thornton Heath explosion cordon doubles in size amid fears of new gas leak danger

Today (August 9) a family friend has described the toddler as a "beautiful" and "cute" girl.

They also said that Sahara's family had been contacting the gas company for a week before the blast.

Neighbours have also said they had been in contact over the smell of gas in the area.

It is thought that Sahara's family were in the house next door when the explosion happened.

Despite the destruction, her parents and two of her siblings were not seriously injured.

Family friend Thoheed Maricar, 52, said she was one of four children, adding that an 11-year-old boy was taken to hospital.

Sahara's mum is thought to be NHS receptionist Sana Ahmad, her dad Syed Muhammad Salman Ilyas.

Mr Maricar said: "Yesterday the mum was crying and she was in a horrible situation as she had just lost a baby.

"I was called up at around 9am yesterday and was told: 'Uncle, there has been a big blast at a neighbour's house.'

"The mum was saying 'my third child is missing' but she couldn't really talk to me. She was crying and screaming.

"The girl is a beautiful, cute four-year-old. She was a happy girl. She played around a lot and was very active.

"The 11-year-old boy is injured but I don't know his condition or if he is still in hospital."

He added: "The family had tried to get hold of the gas company a couple of times last week and neighbours had been trying to get hold of the gas company."

The blast completely destroyed one of the houses on Galpin's Road, where teddy bears, flowers and tributes have been placed to honour Sahara.

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A resident – who did not wish to be named – said Sahara's family were looking after people despite the horrible situation they were in.

"One of the aunties bought food out," they added.

"That family would have been so upset by things, but they were so selfless just bringing food for everyone."

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