Belfast Telegraph

Cannabis factory found on grounds of fatal blast property

A cannabis grow house has been found on the grounds of a property where a man died after a back boiler in a fireplace exploded.

Gardai said the 28-year-old from Lithuania was in the living room of the house at The Cottages, Beaulieu, near Drogheda, when the blast occurred.

The dead man's wife, aged in her 20s and also from the Eastern European country, suffered minor injuries.

A third man, aged in his 50s and also from Lithuania, sustained serious injuries to his leg, body and face and was being treated in hospital.

Emergency services were alerted after the explosion in the sitting room of the home and subsequent fire just after midnight on Tuesday.

The house had been rented for some time.

In subsequent searches, a sophisticated cannabis factory was discovered in a separate building, described as an industrial unit, at the rear of the grounds.

There were about 200 mature cannabis plants at various stages of growth inside. The drugs have an estimated street value of about 150,000 euro.

Superintendent Andrew Watters said the drugs factory involved a number of rooms and was elaborate and professional.

"The cause of the explosion has yet to be established," he said.

"We believe the death was caused by the explosion in the house."

He added: "There is no connection has been established, yet, between the cannabis cultivation plant and the explosion in the house. A full investigation is ongoing."

A post-mortem examination is to be carried out on the dead man's body and the local coroner has been notified.

Consular staff from the Lithuanian embassy have been notified of the man's death and Supt Watters extended sympathies to relatives.

Gardai said the scene of the explosion and the cannabis factory has been preserved for a forensic and technical examination but the cause of the blast is not being treated as suspicious.

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