Family of Girl Sahara Salman killed in gas explosion six months ago still ‘sleeping on the floor’

The family of a girl killed in a gas explosion at her home still haven’t been given a replacement property six months on. 

Sahara Salman, 4, died after the explosion in Thornton Heath, south London, on August 8 last year.

Merton Council declared the explosion a ‘major incident’ at the time and hundreds of residents were forced to evacuate their homes. 

But Sahara’s family are still having to sleep on the floor at a family member’s home down the road – despite the tragedy occurring six months ago. 

Sahara’s mum, Sana Ahmad, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): ‘As a parent, it is a nightmare come true to know that my daughter lost her life in the very bed where she should have felt safe and secure. 

My last memory of her is kissing her good night, telling her how much I loved her, and promising to see her in the morning. Sahara was a shining star in our lives, and her absence is felt deeply.

‘Despite this tragedy, we are still homeless and sleeping on the floor. 

My three children and I have lost everything, and it’s devastating to see them without their belongings and a place to call home. They miss their sister and are scared to go to school. We deserve support in this difficult time, but it feels like we’ve been left to fend for ourselves.’

Sahara Salman, who died in a gas explosion in south London
Sahara’s family still have not been given a replacement home (Picture: PA)
Members of their Urban Search and Rescue team at the scene in Galpin's Road in Thornton Heath, south London
Galpin’s Road was left devastated by the explosion (Picture: PA)

Sana also claims she wasn’t warned the remains of her former home would be torn down, meaning the family lost many of their belongings. 

The family’s legal representative Faryal Hussain, from Our Voice, has also criticised the council for not offering them a new place to live. 

She said: ‘The council needs to house her, it is ridiculous, she is living in a living room with three children.’

But Merton Council has promised that it is ‘continuing its efforts’ to rehome the family.

Council leader, Councillor Ross Garrod, said: ‘The gas explosion at Galpin’s Road has devastated our community and it will be a while before we have the answers that we need. 

‘Since that tragic day, six months ago, the council has been doing everything it can to support those affected, including Ms Ahmad and her family. We are continuing our efforts to find a suitable property for the family.’

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