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Gas explosion man 'relives horror'

A man who survived an explosion which destroyed four houses and injured 15 people has relived the horror of seeing his children trapped in the rubble.

Leon Barker was getting ready for work when a suspected gas blast in his next-door neighbour's kitchen ripped through the home he shares with his wife Sarah and children Joshua, 11, Taylor, eight and Ellis, three.

Mr Barker said: "I got up to go to work at half six and just after seven I heard 'bang' and the house came down.

"Next thing I knew I was climbing out of the rubble and surfaced at next door's back garden.

"I looked up and saw the middle lad half hanging out of the house and half trapped.

"I climbed up, got him out and then started shouting.

"My eldest child was screaming and then I was holding the roof up while the firemen were trying to get him out - which they did."

The gas explosion flattened four terraced homes in Merlin Road, Irlam, Salford, Greater Manchester.

Investigators believe the blast happened in the kitchen of Mr Barker's neighbour - an 82-year-old woman who is being treated in hospital for 30% burns.

Mr Barker told ITV1's Granada Reports: "They (the hospital) are keeping two of my children in with breaks and cuts and bruises."


From Belfast Telegraph