Four children escape serious injury after gas cooker explosion in Northern Ireland
Four children and a woman were lucky to escape serious injury after a gas cooker exploded in their Newry home.
It happened in the Barcroft Park area of the city on Monday evening just before 6.30pm.
The ambulance service said five people including three boys aged 12, 10 and six as well as an eight-year-old girl were injured. Two children have since been discharged while a 34-year-old woman was admitted to the Ulster hospital with a burn to the hand.
Two other children are in the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.
All had suffered burns to the face, however, they were not thought to be "deep-seated" injuries.
An Ambulance Service spokesman said early indications suggested none of those involved suffered life threatening injuries.
The fire service said by the time a crew arrived around five minutes after the initial call, those in the house had taken refuge in a neighbour's home, describing them as "walking wounded".
Two appliances and 11 firefighters were at the scene.
Group Commander Max Joyce told the Belfast Telegraph a faulty gas appliance is thought to be the cause. He said there was no fire on their arrival but signs of a "small explosion" in the kitchen.
He added: "You can't mess about with gas. There are cases of leaks causing whole buildings to be engulfed in flames and destroyed so it could have been quite serious and I think we were very lucky on this occasion."