A gas explosion in Shaw, near Oldham Greater Manchester, this morning has left one child dead, and a man with serious injuries.
The explosion happened in a house in the Buckley Street area at 11.15am. Fire services worked for over six hours to free people they believed may be trapped in the rubble of several terraced houses which were demolished by the blast. Several surrounding houses also had their windows and doors blown out by the explosion.
The man that was rescued and taken to hospital was suffering with 80% burns, the North West Ambulance Service confirmed. Another man who believed to be trapped has been found.
People in the area reported the ground shaking and several large bangs. Over 100 houses in the surrounding area were evacuated as well as a local nursery.
Emergency services including five fire crews, three helicopters and a heavy police presence attended the scene. A search and rescue operation involving specialist units and sniffer dogs were also present to search for people presumed to have been in the houses.
Sam Gibson, 25, of Oak Road, which adjoins Buckley Street, told Manchester Evening News:
National Grid have confirmed that they were called to reports of a gas leak at 10.40am, 30 minutes before the explosion.
A rest centre has been set up at Crompton House school for people affected by the Shaw explosion.
Photographs allegedly showing the scene via @BigAlNiftyUK, Michael Mellor on Facebook, Manchester Fire, Greater Manchester Police and Google maps.