Shul-goer hurt in Kenton blast

By Jennifer Lipman, August 18, 2011

A Kenton Synagogue congregant required surgery after being "thrown up into the air" by an exploding manhole cover as he walked home from Shabbat lunch.

Colin Wingate, 74, suffered severe injuries to his right knee when the cover of an electrical junction box on a Kenton side street flew up and severed his tendon. A friend walking beside him sustained cuts and bruises.

"The explosion was like nothing I have ever heard before," he said. "There was a huge noise and this four-foot long object flew up into the air. Because I was standing on it, it took me with it.

"The next thing I knew I was spread-eagled on the floor covered in blood. I was, to say the least, very confused. I was in a lot of pain as well."

Police, firemen and emergency workers arrived on the scene and Mr Wingate was taken to hospital.

He underwent surgery on Monday, having an artificial tendon inserted into his knee. He remains unable to walk more than a few metres.

Now living in Bournemouth, Mr Wingate may have to stay near his son in Kenton while he recovers.

A spokeswoman for UK Power Network said the cause of the explosion was being investigated. "We deeply regret the injuries sustained by two members of the public following a fault on our underground electricity."

Last updated: 11:51am, August 18 2011