Val and sister Diane were trapped in the nearby mirror maze when disaster struck and, while they had initially emerged relatively unscathed, a second explosion put both their lives on the line.
The pair found themselves buried beneath the rubble when the mirrors exploded due to the shockwaves and it looked as though they might both get out alive when emergency services came to their aid, but there was only room for one happy ending this evening and that went to Cain and estranged son Kyle.
Andy and Vanessa watched helplessly as the firemen rushed to the sisters’ aid, with Val insisting that Diane should be the first rescued.
It was an uncharacteristically selfless act for the woman who was all too aware that her own life was on the line.
Viewers held their breath as an equally stunning and shocking shot featuring a jagged mirror shard sealed Val’s summer fate.
Her final soliloquy was testament to Hardwick’s soap acting prowess with the character bowing in out in her own gloriously dramatic fashion.
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news