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Post office owners’ pledge to re-open after explosion

PUBLISHED: 16:00 14 January 2016

Post master Andrew Crab.

Post master Andrew Crab.

Archant

The owners of a Post Office in Long Ashton which was blown up during a devastating attack last week have revealed they plan to re-open within three months.

Post master Andrew Crab counter clerk Joanne Barrett. Post master Andrew Crab counter clerk Joanne Barrett.

Co-owners David Andrews and Andrew Crabb had to rush home from a holiday after they found out about the blast that took place at about 3.30am on January 4, when explosives were used on the cash machine at the Post Office in Weston Road.

A quantity of cash was taken during the raid while all of the windows at the front of the shop were shattered and extensive damage was caused to the building’s interior.

Neighbouring businesses also had to remain closed for much of the day as a forensics team roped off the area to carry out investigations.

The business partners have now started to work with their insurers to repair the damage and have spoken to the Times about the ‘amazing’ support they have had from the Long Ashton community and their ambition to re-open in the next 12 weeks.

Post master Andrew Crab. Post master Andrew Crab.

David said: “We are devastated with the loss of our business but are now working towards re-opening.

“Everything is destroyed inside but thankfully our tenants upstairs got out and are staying with friends. They are very shaken.

“We were on a family holiday in Tenerife at the time and received a phone call from Avon Fire and Rescue at 4.30am as well as several texts from local residents.

“We made lots of calls to the UK and quickly decided to pack up and get the first plane home.

“The local community has been amazing.

“We have had support from residents and customers via social media, letters, cards, texts and in person as we were out and about in Long Ashton. The support has made us even more determined to re-open.

“The Post Office is a lifeline for many people and we want to be back as soon as possible to provide our usual service.

“We cannot thank people enough for their overwhelming support and their kind words.”

Numerous messages have also been left by Long Ashton residents and users of the Post Office on its Facebook page, highlighting the importance of the service to the village and the popularity of its owners.

Two women, aged 18 and 30 years old, have been arrested in connection with the incident while five other people have been released on bail on suspicion of burglary and causing an explosion with intent to endanger life.

The cash that was stolen during the incident has not yet been recovered.

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