Six people injured in gas explosion
Six people have been hurt in a gas explosion at a house, a senior fire officer said.
Two of them required hospital treatment after the blast at a semi-detached property in Regent Road, Jarrow, South Tyneside, which blew out windows and doors.
Fire crews, one which was on the scene within three minutes of the 999 call, arrived to find five injured people in the garden. A sixth casualty, thought to be a neighbour who had come to assist, was also hurt.
The large living room double-glazed window and another downstairs window appeared to have been blown out into the garden. Curtains were blowing about in the wind and a red leather settee was visible inside the house.
The blast did not appear to have damaged the roof of the large 1970s house.
Group Manager David Orr, from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, who was in charge of the incident, said there were varying degrees of injuries, and a man and a woman were taken to local hospitals. They were believed to have burns, but were not thought to be seriously injured.
The five people all lived in one house in the semi-detached property, and the people living in the other part of the building were out when the blast happened.
Mr Orr said: "On attending the incident it was quickly found there were five casualties all located in the garden of the premises. They have varying degrees of injuries and two have been taken to local hospitals. There was one further casualty, who was a neighbour and he came to the garden to assist them and he received a minor injury as well."
The firefighter said an investigation involving gas specialists was now under way. He reassured local residents that there was no on-going risk to homes after the "low-level" gas leak. Nearby homes had been evacuated while investigations were carried out.
The semi stands on a corner plot next to the Tyne and Wear Metro line and the busy A19 road. Mr Orr said Metro trains had been suspended as a precaution, but were soon allowed to run again.