Thursday, June 13, 2024

9 year old girl averts major disaster

by Ronan Casey

A nine year old Mullingar girl is being hailed a hero after she saved the lives of dozens of children and residents of the Belvedere Hills housing estate in Mullingar.
Quick-thinking Abbie Stakem-Tuite averted what could have been a catastrophic and devastating gas explosion at the Ballinderry estate when she alerted her mum to a major gas leak caused by vandalism to an empty house.
As dozens of children played nearby, huge amounts of explosive gas hissed out of an outside burst main around them. Had the killer gas ignited – even a spark caused by a pebble, a mobile phone, a light switch or an engine turning could have sparked it – it would have destroyed several homes and possibly caused multiple fatalities.
Abbie and her pal Sara Aserbane were playing on the roadway between their houses to the rear of the Belvedere Hills estate when they smelled something funny on Monday evening, June 30th.
“I knew it was gas,” Abbie told TOPIC when we visited her and her proud mum Hazel. “We had to hold our breath to run past it. I knew that if it got into my lungs it would be bad.”
Abbie is an asthmatic and her sixth sense about the gas was ignored by dozens of other children, including toddlers, who were playing close to the empty house.
“We told them to stay away but they were cycling and playing near it with their shirts on their nose,” Abbie said.
Abbie’s mum Hazel said her daughter had been playing outside for two hours when she came back to the house, just a few doors away from the leak, with her pal. Abbie told her mum they were afraid to walk past the hissing house, as Hazel explains.
“She said ‘Mummy I’m afraid of that house beside us, there’s a hissing noise coming from it and a terrible smell, would it be gas?’
“I immediately became alarmed and asked her to stay indoors while myself and her friend’s mother walked down to the house. As I got close I could hear the hissing noise she had mentioned and there was no mistaking the strong smell of gas.”

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Woohoo! Your subscription has been successful!

Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up to date with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

You may have missed...