SPECIALIST search and rescue teams from the UK deployed to help the investigation into the Pier Road explosion are to leave the Island this week, as the police presence at the site is scaled back.
On 10 December last year, the Island was left in shock when an apartment block at the Andium-run Haut du Mont exploded, killing ten people and forcing dozens more to flee their homes.
Currently around 30 States police officers are working on the investigation, codenamed Operation Spire, with 601 lines of enquiry being pursued, 230 statements having been taken and 490 pieces of evidence recovered. The main site of the devastating blast around Haut du Mont is still under investigation and will be for some time according to police.
Detective Superintendent Alison Fossey, senior investigating officer for Operation Spire, said: ‘Since 10 December 2022, a secondary scene between Commercial Buildings and Le Quai aux Marchands has been held as part of the ongoing police investigation into the Pier Road incident. As a result of our teams continuing to make good progress with the investigation, police presence at this secondary scene is no longer required.
‘Specialist teams who have been deployed from the UK to support with the ongoing recovery and investigation continue to make good progress at the main scene. As such, the Urban Search and Rescue teams who have been part of the recovery since last month, will depart this week. I’d like to thank the USAR teams for their hard work and Fire and Rescue National Resilience for coordinating their deployment to Jersey. USAR have been a vital part of the response in working with our local emergency services to facilitate the ongoing response, and their specialist skills and professionalism has been second to none.’
‘We are continuing to ensure that our efforts remain focused on doing the best for the grieving relatives and the displaced residents. Our family liaison officers are supporting the bereaved families and community police are meeting regularly with the displaced residents. Funerals continue to take place this week, and our thoughts remain with families and friends at this difficult time.’