‘It looked like a terror attack’ - owner of A505 BP petrol station near Ashwell calls on community to support his business after cash point explosion
- Credit: Clive Porter
The owner of a petrol garage between Royston and Baldock where criminals blew up a cash machine just before Christmas has said it is open for business – despite describing the scene as looking like a terrorist attack.
Mr Konasan, who owns the BP garage on the A505 near the Odsey turning, says his business suffered a big drop in trade as a result of the explosion which took place at about 3am on Friday, December 23.
He told the Crow yesterday: “I’ve only got one business which is why we reopened the day after – Christmas Eve – but it’s not a good operation at the moment and my sales are down.
“The effect has been big. I can’t sell alcohol or cigarettes at the moment and the shop looks as if it is closed because of the damage and the broken glass.”
Mr Konasan, who has owned the business since 2014 and said it provides for his wife and three children, believes the attack could have put people’s lives at risk.
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He said: “It was very dangerous. They didn’t think about people’s lives. The explosion was very dangerous.
“It wasn’t only a robbery, it looked like a terrorist attack.
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“There was debris everywhere and they didn’t think about the impact on drivers along the road.”
Mr Konasan said he thinks the would-be robbers used gas bottles and pipes as explosives in the hope of getting money out of the cash machine.
Cambs police are investigating the attack – with forensics spotted at the scene on Friday collecting evidence while a cordon was still in place – but it is not yet clear how much cash was taken.
A passerby at the scene of the explosion said that the garage looked like it had been hit by a bomb.
Speaking to the Crow on Friday, the Melbourn man said: “It was absolute carnage, it looks like a bomb has hit it.
“It’s terrible, but a sign of the times – you never know where they’re going to strike next.
“And it’s right on top of Christmas as well. It makes you think of the owner and the manager, by the looks of it they’re going to have to close for a long time.”
Following the early morning explosion police closed one lane of the A505 northbound, but the road fully reopened later the same morning.
If anyone has information about the incident, they should call Cambs police on 101. Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.