Work continued at the scene in Redwood Grove as part of a process that police believe will take several weeks.
Because of the damage caused by the explosion and subsequent fire, search teams will be unable to enter the main block of flats for some time.
An adjacent block of flats, on the other hand, may reopen to residents by the end of the week.
So far, only one death has been confirmed. While they have not yet been formally identified, specialist officers are assisting the person who is believed to have died’s next of kin.
The Bedfordshire Police response to the explosion, which occurred shortly after 9 a.m. yesterday, is being led by Chief Superintendent John Murphy (Monday).
“This is a deeply distressing and traumatic incident, and our thoughts remain with the person who tragically lost their life,” he said.
“We don’t know what caused the explosion.” A number of lines of inquiry are being pursued to assist us in determining this, and we are collaborating closely with our fire service colleagues as part of our investigation.
“We are now entering a lengthy stage of the investigation at a very complex scene, where we will conduct our investigations as diligently and professionally as possible.”
“Given the extent of the damage and the risks that our teams face, it may take some time before we can begin searching at the affected site.” As a result, we cannot rule out the possibility of additional fatalities being discovered at this time.
“We understand that residents of nearby properties want to return to their homes as soon as possible, and we appreciate their continued support and patience as we work to ensure the scene is safe.”
As part of their ongoing support, firefighters have been making reassurance visits throughout the affected area today.
The emergency assistance centre at the John Bunyan Centre in Bedford is still open today for anyone in need of assistance or support.
From tomorrow (Wednesday), there will be an information centre at the Harpur Suite in Bedford town centre, open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The local community has generously donated to those who have been evacuated.
Today, our specialist education and diversion team collaborated with mental health services to deliver special sessions at a school near the flats.
“Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service continues to conduct a complex fire investigation at Redwood Grove and remains unable to make any conclusions as to the cause of the explosion at this stage,” said Trevor Gradwell Smith, operational assurance manager at Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.
“The absence of main gas supplies to the premises has been confirmed.
“We are working very closely with Bedfordshire Police and other partner agencies, such as the Urban Search and Rescue Team, to reinforce the structural stability of the building.”
“Over the next few days, we will maintain a response presence on the scene. In addition, we will be in the area performing ‘Safe and Well’ home fire safety visits and will be available to provide fire safety advice.”
Festus Akinbusoye, Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, added, “Following yesterday’s incident at Redwood Grove in Bedford, I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to everyone affected.”
“I am shocked and saddened by the loss of life, and my thoughts are with the families of those who have been injured or are in the hospital, including one of our county’s firefighters.
“Bedfordshire Police are working tirelessly to ensure the safety of residents and are continuing to investigate the cause.”
“I’d like to thank our emergency services for their ongoing efforts to keep the public safe.”
Police have also established an information centre where people can get in touch, report concerns, and learn about family members.
Family and friends who are concerned can also call 0800 051 6085.