Counsellor 'died on FaceTime when house exploded during call with partner'

Andy Wells
·Freelance Writer
·2-min read
Hazel Wilcock was killed in an explosion at her home while she was on FaceTime to her partner. (Reach)
Hazel Wilcock was killed in an explosion at her home while she was on FaceTime to her partner. (Reach)

A much-loved counsellor was on a FaceTime call with her partner when she was killed in an explosion at her home, an inquest into her death has heard.

Hazel Wilcock, 61, died after the incident at her home on East View in Summerseat, Greater Manchester, on the evening of 18 February.

During the inquest opening at Rochdale Coroner's Court on Tuesday, police coroner's officer Jane Scullion said that Ms Wilcock “was having a FaceTime call with her partner when an explosion took place, causing the phone to disconnect and cut off”.

She added: "Ms Wilcock's property was completely destroyed and there was damage to two neighbouring properties.

Hazel Wilcock's home in Greater Manchester following the explosion. (Reach)
Hazel Wilcock's home in Greater Manchester following the explosion. (Reach)
Hazel Wilcock's property was completely destroyed and there was damage to two neighbouring properties. (Reach)
Hazel Wilcock's property was completely destroyed and there was damage to two neighbouring properties. (Reach)

"Ms Wilcock was in a seating position, on the sofa, at the time of the FaceTime call."

Scullion said the fire service have gathered no evidence of “suspicious activity”, and that other investigations are still taking place.

Assistant coroner Michael Salt said an inquest was “inevitably needed” but the provisional cause of death has been recorded as “traumatic asphyxia”, according to Scullion.

Ms Wilcock was born in Radcliffe and worked as a counsellor at St Ann's Hospice in Little Hulton, Salford.

Following her death, chief executive of the hospice Rachel McMillan paid tribute.

Hazel Wilcock worked as a counsellor at St Ann's Hospice in Little Hulton, Salford. (Reach)
Hazel Wilcock worked as a counsellor at St Ann's Hospice in Little Hulton, Salford. (Reach)

She said: "Everyone at the hospice is extremely shocked and saddened by the tragic news of Hazel's death, and our thoughts are with her family and loved ones.

"Hazel had been part of the St Ann's team for four years as a senior counsellor in our Patient and Family Support Team, working hard to support the people we care for and those closest to them.

"She was a much-loved member of the hospice family, always compassionate, and always focused on ensuring the very best care for our patients."

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