Three people hurt after gas explosion destroys house in Leicester

Three people have been hurt after a gas explosion destroyed a house and damaged several others.

Everybody has been accounted for after the blast, which led to the evacuation of dozens of properties in Birstall, north of Leicester.

Nearby homeowners described being woken up by a huge “bang” which shook doors and windows.

Leicestershire Fire Service said one semi-detached property had been “involved in gas explosion”.

Three people were injured by the blast (Picture: PA)

A neighbouring property also partially collapsed and six other properties had been affected, it said, adding that no fire or smell of gas had been reported.

Carol Cooke, who lives on nearby Wanlip Lane, said she was woken by an “almighty bang” at about 7.30am.

This picture from above shows the scene of devastation (Picture: SWNS)

She said: “I thought something had happened in the house, then we just heard lots of sirens and saw emergency services going up our street.”


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Ms Cooke, 46, added: “Hearing the bang was not nice, it was very scary. It’s very shocking news, we are praying for the families involved.”

Sarah Carr, of Halfpenny Close, about a mile from Allington Drive, added: “I thought it was a car crash, the whole house and doors shook.

“It sounded really loud, like it was right outside my house. I then saw the air ambulance and police helicopter.”

Everyone was accounted for after the explosion (Picture: PA)

Tony Timson, 66, of Allington Drive, said: “I looked out of the window and saw black smoke coming up from about 100 yards away.

“It looked like the house had been demolished. We got dressed and went up there and it was just a pile of rubble.

“People came running out of their houses, a lot of windows were caved in. It just looked like a bomb site.

An overhead view of the aftermath of the blast (Picture: SWNS)

“I live about 100 yards away and some of the pictures came off the wall. I’ve had some tiles come off the roof and some cracks appearing in the plaster.”

Steve Ballinger of Leicestershire Fire Service said everyone had now been accounted for.

He said: “Three people have been injured and they are on their way to hospital.

“There has been one total collapse and one partial collapse. Houses 51 to 81 and 42 to 64 on Allington Drive have been evacuated.”

The explosion happened at Birstall near Leicester (Picture: PA)

All those evacuated have been asked to go to the village hall and locals have been asked by Charnwood Council to help by taking blankets.

Leicestershire Police said investigations into the cause of the damage were in their “very early stages”.

Tim Hargraves, of East Midlands Ambulance Service, said: “One patient has been taken by air ambulance 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.”