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Eleven people injured in Salford gas explosion


Jenjie

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Eleven people have been injured in a suspected gas explosion in Salford, the fire service has said.

 

One house has been completely destroyed and up to four others have been badly damaged in the blast in Irlam.

 

Although all residents are thought to be accounted for, search and rescue teams are still picking through the rubble as a precaution.

 

A spokesman said gas was still believed to be leaking on Silver Street. Gas engineers are at the scene.

 

A 76-year-old woman has been seriously injured and several others have been taken to hospital.

 

A Greater Manchester Fire Service sniffer dog had earlier indicated that more people could be trapped in the rubble, but all residents are believed to be accounted for.

 

Earlier, crews rescued five adults and two children from the property.

 

"[They were in] a pretty bad condition, some had quite bad burns," fire service spokesman Tony Lander said.

 

"I heard an explosion from my own home at ten past seven this morning and I live in Urmston, approximately five or six miles away.

 

"About 10 minutes later control rang to say we had a report of a gas explosion in Irlam."

 

BBC reporter Kevin Fitzpatrick told Breakfast News roof tiles had been blown off and car windows smashed by the force of the blast.

 

Resident William Billinge was woken up by a "very loud bang" and he said the explosion shook his house, destroying four nearby properties.

 

Mr Billinge, 65, said: "There's nothing left of them. There is debris everywhere, all over the place.

 

"Four houses completely flattened."

 

Up to 50 firefighters were sent to the scene after the blast, which neighbours reported as a gas explosion.

 

Mr Lander said there was a strong smell of gas in the air.

 

Stephanie Van Rosse, a spokeswoman for National Grid, said they had been asked to switch off the gas supply for the whole of Merlin Road, but added it was too early to discuss the cause of the blast.

 

"Explosions like this are rare but, yes, we have dealt with them. And, you know, we are gas emergency professionals and this is what we are trained to be able to deal with," she said.

 

Greater Manchester Police are also at the scene and have closed Silver Street, Merlin Road, Morrillion Road, Cutnook Lane and a number of other routes.

 

A number of people have been evacuated from surrounding homes and sent to Fiddlers Lane Community Primary School, which was has been closed to pupils.

 

Barbara Holgate had just returned home from working a night shift at Tesco when she heard the explosion.

 

"...it's a close-knit area so people have been going to relatives and friends. I've invited somebody in for coffee," she said.

 

"They told most people to go inside. There's a big smell of gas."

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-11671916

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A Greater Manchester Fire Service sniffer dog had earlier indicated that more people could be trapped in the rubble, but all residents are believed to be accounted for.

 

In Salford a sniffer dog could have a field day. Depends what they're trained to sniff for.

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