A man died in an explosion at a P-lab in a house south of Auckland yesterday evening.
Emergency services were called to the property, on Mckinney Rd at Glenbrook, near Pukekohe, after reports of a blast shortly before 6pm.
Neighbours said “everyone knows” the house was used to cook methamphetamine and it was not surprising that it blew up.
One man said it had been only a matter of time before an accident like that happened.
“In the community, we know it as ‘the P house’.”
Children did not go near it “for that reason”, he said.
It is understood the man who died was a friend of the man who lives at the house.
Neighbours said the armed offenders squad had been called to the address more than once in relation to firearms offences.
“You don’t have to be Einstein to work out what was going on,” one said.
A woman who was returning home with her daughter after netball practice said it was “very upsetting” to turn into her street and find it filled with police.
Another neighbour said he had heard the explosion but did not think too much of it at the time because of the steel mill nearby.
Counties Manukau police, emergency services and hazardous substance advisers were working at the site last night.
The scene was cordoned off.
Police find 200 homes a year on average where P is being made.
The Insurance Council says the number of insurance claims being made for property damaged by methamphetamine is increasing.
“Property losses from P labs are becoming more significant and insurers are becoming increasingly concerned about the extent of these losses,” council spokesman Terry Jordan said.
He estimated that methamphetamine damage had cost the insurance industry $5 million to $10 million over the past 12 months.
Insurance companies covered the losses caused by P contamination, he said, but the onus was on property owners to properly vet tenants and carry out regular inspections.