In video: Moment gas blast destroys Sunderland home
The owner of the home survived after a fridge fell on her during the blast.
The moment a gas blast destroyed one half of a semi and wrecked the other was caught on camera.
The footage shows the huge explosion in Ryhope, Sunderland, as pieces of the house are sent flying through the air.
But despite the destruction, owner Susan Shepherd survived the blast because a fridge fell on her and she was later pulled from the rubble.
Remarkably, she was the only casualty following the explosion at around 8.50am on Friday, and was treated for burns at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
The CCTV footage was captured from Kelly Rickett’s house, who was not in at the time but later discovered her camera had recorded the explosion.
Ms Shepherd’s sister Tracy Tia Judson said she was able to talk in the ambulance, having miraculously survived the major blast which sent roof tiles flying and shot the back door more than 20 metres down the back garden and over a fence.
Writing on Facebook, Ms Judson said: “The fridge fell on top of her and saved her life, she’s absolutely fine under the circumstances, she’s got minor burns to her back, face and arms and her hip might need stitching.”
In an earlier public post, she said there must be a God as “How the hell can anyone survive that explosion?”.
Ms Shepherd’s daughter was with her father at the time of the blast, the sister said.
The area was quickly flooded with police, fire crews and paramedics and the air ambulance was also at the scene.
Gas engineers were also there, along with search specialists with dogs to make sure there were no other casualties trapped.
It was understood there were no injuries from the other half of the semi which remained standing but appeared very badly damaged.
Locals were quick to offer help with people wanting to donate toys and clothes and they set up an online fundraising page.
Neighbour Tracey Pounder, 51, said: “I heard an almighty bang. I went upstairs and you could see dust rising.
“Half of the semi has gone and next door is wrecked. I came down to see what was happening and it is a complete shock.”
Search and rescue dog Spencer being deployed at this morning's house explosion in Ryhope. Thankfully everyone is now accounted for. pic.twitter.com/PsHtBW2m4u— Tyne and Wear FRS (@Tyne_Wear_FRS) August 11, 2017
Northumbria Police said the blast was caused by a gas explosion.
Bill Forster, of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The walls of the building have collapsed and the upper sections of the building have come down and the lady was trapped beneath that rubble.”