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Three seriously hurt as terrace house collapses in blast

Published 09/08/2016

Emergency services outside the house
Emergency services outside the house
One person suffered major burns
An aerial view of the scene in Curzon Road (Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue/PA)
The blast blew out both the front and back of the house
A sniffer dog checks the scene
The cause is still being investigated
Six people were injured following an explosion at a terraced house (Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service/PA)
The view from above (Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue/PA)

Three people have suffered serious injuries after an explosion destroyed a terrace house.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service was called to the property in Curzon Road, Ashton under-Lyne, at around 5am on Tuesday and arrived to find the front and back of the building had collapsed.

Incident commander at the scene Alan Ashworth said the number of casualties had risen to "at least 10" - telling reporters at the scene they are "concerned" for three of these as they have "quite severe burns and lacerations".

He said crews were initially called to reports of a blaze but when they arrived firefighters found a "number of people injured on the floor", saying it was "obvious" there had been an explosion.

He said: "We are now aware that there are at least 10 casualties. Some are suffering with burns and lacerations. We don't have full details of the casualties, but we now know three people were inside the property at the time of the explosion.

"Some people were also injured while helping to rescue people. We had one person who brought a mattress for one of the casualties to get out.

"We have stabilising equipment on both sides of the building as there is a potential risk of collapse. We are aware of two collapses so far and therefore are trying to prevent another. Therefore the cordon and road closures will remain in place for now.

"We don't yet know the cause of the explosion and our fire investigation team are at the scene working with the police."

He said it was "fantastic" that people had gone to help and revealed that a man, woman and their adult daughter lived at the property.

Six fire engines were deployed to the scene and gas and electricity supplies were turned off at the house and four neighbouring properties.

Curzon Road, Whiteacre Road and Clinton Street were all closed and people were asked to avoid the area if possible.

A woman called Leanne, claiming to be one of the daughters of the man and woman who live at the house, told reporters she was in bed when she heard the explosion. She said she saw a house on fire but thought it was next door to her parents' home.

"People came over and told me it was my mum and dad's. So I came out of the house, come over the road to where they was because they managed to get out, just to make sure they were all right."

Without revealing details she said two people escaped the blaze by jumping out of the window and one from the roof.

She added: "All I know is that they are stable."

Leanne said her sister also lived at the property and she said she was "shocked" by what has happened and that her parents have "lost everything" in the blast.

A spokeswoman for North West Ambulance Service confirmed they were called at 5.07am and sent a "large resource team" to the scene.

She said: "There were six patients in total - five have minor injuries and one has major burns."

She confirmed that one patient was taken to the Manchester Royal Infirmary, another to Wythenshawe Hospital and others to Tameside Hospital.

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From Belfast Telegraph