A woman pulled from the rubble of her home after a gas blast survived because a fridge fell on her, her sister has said.
Susan Shepherd suffered minor injuries in the blast in Rosslyn Avenue, Sunderland, on Friday morning.
Her semi-detached home was reduced to a pile of rubble and her neighbour’s house also badly damaged.
But her sister, Tracy Tia Judson, said that Shepherd avoided more serious injury thanks to her fridge.
Writing on Facebook, she 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.”
Northumberland Police and the ambulance service were called to the Rosslyn Avenue scene, in Ryhope, around 8.50am.
In a statement, Northern Gas said: “Emergency engineers from Northern Gas Networks (NGN) attended the scene of an incident on Rosslyn Avenue in Ryhope, Sunderland on the morning of Friday 11 August.
“We have been working alongside the emergency services, and investigations into the cause of the incident continues.”
The explosion could be heard more than a mile away, according to witnesses.
One local tweeted:
right so it's just sounded like a bomb has exploded in ryhope; house literally shook— lauren x (@Laurennnhx) August 11, 2017
Search specialists with dogs were also there to make sure there were no trapped casualties, according to the BBC.
All those were were evacuated have now been allowed to return home.