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Child dies and four people injured as suspected gas blast destroys homes in Lancashire
16 May 2021, 07:21 | Updated: 16 May 2021, 12:50
A child has died and four other people have been injured after a suspected gas blast destroyed homes in a street in Lancashire.
A major incident was declared after the blast destroyed two homes and seriously damaged a third in Heysham, Lancashire.
Lancashire Police said in a statement: "We remain at scene of a suspected gas explosion on Mallowdale Ave, Heysham, which has caused two houses to collapse and badly damaged another.
"Sadly, we can now confirm a young child has died and four other people have been injured, two seriously.
"Our thoughts are with all those affected."
Lancashire Fire said 10 units were called to the row of homes on Mallowdale Avenue around 2.30am on Sunday and that firefighters were searching a collapsed property.
"A major incident has been declared after we (were) called to terraced houses on Mallowdale Avenue. It has been reported that there has been an explosion at a property and firefighters are searching the collapsed property."
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Ben Norman said an investigation into the cause of the blast would be carried out "slowly and methodically".
"We'll work to conclude this incident safely and work with support and concern for the local community to ensure they can rebuild and go back to their normal lives in due course," he said.
"Sadly at this time it means there are a number of people whose homes have been affected and therefore they can't remain in the area.
"We ask people to have patience and particularly to have the family that have been affected in mind."
A Gofundme page set up to help Mallowdale Avenue residents had reached more than £15,000 by midday on Sunday.
We are currently at the scene of a suspected gas explosion on Mallowdale Avenue, Heysham. A safety cordon has been put in place and nearby residents have been evacuated. Road closures are in place and people are being asked to avoid the entire area at this time. pic.twitter.com/HYOPnPQ2Wc— Lancashire Police (@LancsPolice) May 16, 2021
Lancashire Police had confirmed earlier that a safety cordon had been put in place and nearby residents had been evacuated from their homes in the town some 25 miles north-east of Blackpool.
"We are asking people to please avoid the entire area while we deal with this ongoing incident," the force said.
The North West Ambulance Service tweeted that it had also sent units to the scene, with a priority to "ensure people receive the medical help they need as quickly as possible".
The Service tweeted: "Following reports of an explosion on Mallowdale Avenue, #Heysham, we have resources at the scene and we are working with @LancashireFRS and @LancsPolice".
Electricity North West tweeted that it had paused electricity supplies to the area for safety reasons while the blast was being investigated.