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'Happy and Beautiful' Girl Dies in House Explosion Just a Month before Her 5th Birthday

Stephen Thompson
Aug 11, 2022
11:00 P.M.

A mother-of-four was at home with her children when an explosion rocked their apartment. She rushed to get all her kids to safety, but her heart broke when she reached the corridor to her daughter's room.


Most parents never stop discussing how having a child has improved their family and individual lives. This is why one of the greatest fears of any parent is losing their child, and it is undoubtedly one of the most heartbreaking things any human can experience.

No parent should ever have to go through the experience of burying their own child, which is why this story is as heartbreaking as it gets. Here's what happened.



NHS receptionist and mother-of-four Sana Salman, 28, was on the phone with her mother when she heard a loud bang go off very close to her at the family's home on Galpin's Road in Thorton Heath.

She had two of her children in the room with her, but her four-year-old, Sahara Salman, was in the box room while her eldest was in the room toward the garden. Once the loud bang went off, Sana knew something wrong had happened, and her maternal instinct was to quickly get all her kids to safety.

However, as she walked toward the room where her youngest child, daughter Sahara, was in, Sana's heart sunk when she discovered the room had collapsed and she could not get to her daughter.


According to her, the explosion was so bad that it instantly felt like missiles had hit the building because their apartments collapsed in seconds. After the explosion went off, Sana's father and brother made their way into the property, breaking down the doors to assist her and her kids to safety.

However, once she and her other kids got safely away from the collapsed building, Sana could not stop crying because her daughter was still nowhere to be found.

One of Sana's uncles helped in the search for Sahara, but as they cleared the rubble, he screamed out that he could not find his niece; she had been in the bedroom pre-explosion but was no longer there. Sadly, as the search wore on, Sahara's body was discovered amongst the rubble.



Sana could not contain her emotions speaking about Sahara, noting that her world had been torn apart by the death of her beautiful daughter.

The mother-of-four stated that the world did not deserve someone as special as her daughter, and although it was the family's loss, Sahara was the most amazing thing to walk this planet.

Sana also revealed that the family had a lot of plans in place for Sahara, and her daughter was supposed to start school in September. She stated:

"She died a month before her 5th birthday and we had so many plans in place. She was starting school in September – her uniform was bought."


After Merton Council confirmed a gas explosion caused the building to collapse, Sana disclosed that her mother had noticed the smell on July 30 and called the gas company Southern Gas Networks (SGN.)

Yet, when the company sent someone to investigate the leak the following day, the operative told her there were no major issues.

The operative assured Sana he would send someone higher up the company ladder to come and make another inspection, but the other person never showed up.

The aftermath of the explosion. | Source: facebook.com/Simon Harris

The aftermath of the explosion. | Source: facebook.com/Simon Harris

Sana blamed the explosion on the company, noting that the accident could have been prevented if they had taken their job seriously and her daughter would still be alive. The grieving mother declared:


"Now we're all suffering – the whole community. And now we all have to live with the trauma of a little girl dying."

She also confessed the traumatic incident had made her scared to sit in a building without worrying about the ceiling falling off. Meanwhile, the explosion resulted in more than 100 people evacuating the area without an idea of when they would return to their apartments.


After the news of the explosion, Merton Council leader Ross Garrod offered his condolences to Sana, her husband, Syed Salman Ilyas, and the rest of the family over the loss of their daughter.


Mourners also left cuddly toys and flowers outside the family's house where the explosion occurred. Touching tributes were also scrawled on Galpin's Road outside the collapsed property.

Meanwhile, SGN disclosed that engineers have been working with investigators to determine the cause of the fatal blast. They added:

"Following the explosion in Galpin's Road, Thornton Heath earlier today, our deepest sympathies are with the family of the child who has tragically died as well as those who have been injured."

SGN also assured that they were working closely with emergency services and that the police investigation made it inappropriate to offer further comments. Also, the council worked to assist more than 200 residents affected by the blast, including providing food and accommodation.

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