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'Miracle' as pair escape gas blast

A four-year-old girl and her father have had a "miraculous" escape after suffering only minor injuries when their home was reduced to rubble by a gas explosion.

Neighbours pulled the 36-year-old man and his daughter from the remains of the property following the "loud explosion"at the property in Howards Grove, Shirley, Southampton, at 1.30am.

A Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) spokesman said they received about a dozen calls alerting them to the incident.

He said: "Crews from St Mary's and Redbridge arrived to find the two-storey, end-of-terrace property completely collapsed but with the residents thankfully safely out.

"The father and daughter were taken to hospital as a precaution but are not thought to have been seriously injured."

Station manager Steve Buchanan-Lee said: "The fact both of them escaped relatively unharmed is nothing short of a miracle.

"The explosion appears to have been caused by gas and reduced the whole property to rubble."

The other houses in the terrace were evacuated as a precaution as the crews, assisted by HFRS' Urban Search and Rescue team, worked to ensure there was no further collapse of the building.

Engineers from the gas board and Southampton City Council were also called to further investigate the cause of the explosion.

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