THREE people have been injured after a house was completely destroyed in a gas explosion this morning.
The home in Birstall, Leicester was turned to rubble after the terrifying bang, with locals having to pull an elderly man from the wreckage of the home.
Images of the scene on Allington Drive shows the home reduced to rubble, with the injured neighbours to the semi-detached home named locally as John Jasper, 80, and his wife Janet, 79.
A neighbour said: “Everyone is very shocked about what happened. It’s a freak thing to happen. The explosion didn’t happen in their house but they were badly injured.”
Local reports from Leicester Mercury suggested that one elderly man had been pulled unconscious from the rubble with cuts to his head.
John Ketteringham, 31, said: “We found one old chap buried in the rubble. He had bad head lacerations, and was unconscious, with a flight of stairs on top of him, but he was still breathing.”
Another resident said: “We ran over with other people to help the old guy. He was covered in rubble under the staircase. It’s an absolute bloody miracle he survived. The explosion was immense.”
Neighbours have since said the man living in the destroyed home was due to move out next week, with local Leah Russell saying: “It was a gentleman who lived in the house was injured – he’d sold the house and was due to move out next weekend. I think he lived there alone.”
Quentin Woodhouse, 61, who lives in Birstall, said: “My mum lives opposite. She’s 91. Her front door and windows all blew in. She was very lucky not to be hurt. She just said it was a very loud bang, no flames as such.
“And when she came outside it looked pretty much as it does now, with the roof blown off.”
David Voce, 50, of Worcester Avenue, Leicestershire, said: “I jumped out of bed when I heard the bang. It was incredibly loud. I thought my house was falling down. There was no fire, just an explosion.”
Leicestershire Police said they had been called to Allington Drive, Birstall, after reports of an explosion about 7.30am.
They said: “Police, along with the fire and ambulance service, are at the scene.
“Investigations in to the cause of the damage are in their very early stages.”
— Roy Rollings (@royrollings) December 11, 2017
According to Leicestershire Fire Service, one semi-detached property had been involved, with the main property collapsing while a neighbouring property also partially collapsed.
They said six other properties had been partly affected.
Ambulance crews confirmed one patient was flown to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, one patient has been taken by air ambulance to the Major Trauma Centre in Coventry, and one patient is due to be taken by ambulance to the Leicester Royal Infirmary.
One local wrote on Twitter: “I heard in #Birstall and it was a big bang! Made go looking around the house!”
Another wrote: “What was that bang in #leicester ?! We’re in #birstall and friends heard it in #beaumontleys .. thought it was snow falling off House but obvs not!”
A number of houses in the street have been evacuated as a precaution.
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