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Child dies after suspected gas explosion 'destroys three homes' in England

Four other people were injured in the serious incident.

Updated May 16th 2021, 10:52 AM

2.59805299 Source: PA Graphics

A MAJOR INCIDENT has been declared after a suspected gas explosion which reportedly destroyed up to three terraced houses in Lancashire in England.

A young child has died and four other people have been injured, two seriously, local police have confirmed.

Lancashire Police said they were called at 2.40am today to the scene of the explosion after reports “a number” of houses on Mallowdale Avenue had collapsed.

In a statement, the force said the suspected gas explosion caused two houses to collapse and badly damaged another.

“Sadly, we can now confirm a young child has died & 4 other people have been injured, 2 seriously. Our thoughts are with all those affected.”

A safety cordon has been put in place and nearby residents have been evacuated. Road closures are in place and people are being asked to avoid the area at this time.

Lancashire Fire said on Twitter that 10 units were called to the terraced row and that firefighters were searching a collapsed property.

“A major incident has been declared after we (were) called to terraced houses on Mallowdale Avenue. It has been reported that there has been an explosion at a property and firefighters are searching the collapsed property,” a statement noted.

‘The whole house shook’

Several residents of the area tweeted that up to three houses had collapsed, and emergency services sirens had been heard near the scene for a prolonged time.

Dan Knowles, who lives four streets away from the explosion, said he thought there had been an earthquake.

“My wife and I thought there was an earthquake which woke us, the whole house shook,” he said.

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“We immediately checked on our kids and got back in bed. We then heard sirens and my wife checked Facebook, when we found out that there’d been a gas explosion. We stayed indoors and switched everything off at the source and then sat up all night worrying.”

2.15839857 File photo Source: PA Images

Local MP David Morris, who represents Morecambe and Lunesdale, wrote on Twitter: “My thoughts and prayers are with all of the families on Mallowdale Avenue following the incident this morning. Thank you to all of the emergency services who are currently on the scene.”

The North West Ambulance Service tweeted that it had sent units to the scene, with a priority to “ensure people receive the medical help they need as quickly as possible”.

Electricity North West wrote on social media that it had paused electricity supplies to the area for safety reasons while the blast was being investigated.

Contains reporting from PA

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Órla Ryan

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