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Man dies after blast demolishes house

By PA Reporters

Published 20/02/2016

The remains of the house blown up in a suspected gas explosion
The remains of the house blown up in a suspected gas explosion

A man was killed and more than a dozen houses damaged in a suspected gas explosion yesterday.

The body of the 63-year-old victim, named locally as Paul Wilmott, was recovered from the remains of an obliterated home after the blast in Haxby, near York.

Police said that to the best of their knowledge, there was only one person at the address.

The victim's remains have yet to be formally identified.

The explosion blew the windows out of neighbouring houses and scattered debris across the roads and gardens in the leafy residential cul-de-sac.

Those who live in the area said the blast could be heard across the whole town.

The explosion sounded like a crash, a man who did not wish to be named said.

The witness was around 150 yards away at the time of the blast and described how it had levelled one property and seriously damaged others nearby.

"The house has been completely flattened," he said. "It sounded as if a bus or something had crashed into a house, or like an aeroplane crash.

"All the properties adjacent to the one that's blown up have got damaged windows and garages."

A neighbour said she felt the explosion from a street away.

"There was a tremendous bang - it shook the bed and the whole house," she added.

Other local residents also reported that their houses were shaken by the blast, which some thought was an earthquake.

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