Tom Swarbrick 10pm - 1am
Woman, 31, and boys aged two and five critically injured in house blast in south Wales
25 June 2020, 12:07
A mother and two young children were left critically injured following the explosion at a house in south Wales.
The three people were pulled from the rubble following an explosion yesterday.
A group of residents, including a retired firefighter, ran to the terraced home on Church Road in Seven Sisters, near Neath, after hearing a loud bang and a woman screaming.
The woman, 31, and two boys aged two and five suffered critical injuries in the blast on Wednesday afternoon and remain in hospital in stable condition.
The cause of the explosion is still being investigated.
One rescuer, Jeff Davies, said he was joined by five others and they used joists from the collapsed roof to move the woman from the back of the property.
He said: "It was unbelievable the scene, shocking.
"Normally the wise thing would be to stand back and watch and let others come, but obviously there's always a delay until the services come and when you hear people and know there's people in the building your natural instinct is to help."
Emergency services were called to the village after reports of an explosion at 2.05pm on Wednesday.
The two children were taken by air ambulance to Southmead Hospital in Bristol while the woman was taken by road ambulance to Morriston Hospital in Swansea.
Neighbouring homes were also damaged and around 14 properties were evacuated.
Neath Port Talbot Council has opened a rest centre for affected residents.
A South Wales police spokeswoman said: "South Wales Police can confirm the three people injured in the incident yesterday, a 31-year-old woman and two boys aged four and five (later corrected to two and five), all remain in hospital and are in critical but stable conditions.
"The road remains closed and we continue to ask people to avoid the area.
"The cause of the explosion is under investigation."
Kirsten Williams, 24, was in the garden of her relatives' home near the property when they heard the explosion.
She told PA: "The conservatory shook. A massive bang.
"My mother-in-law suggested a car crash or a lorry. I said no, that's an explosion.
"My father-in-law rushed up the drive and saw people running across the road and called us up.
"I grabbed my 17-month-old son and off we went to see.
"What shook me the most was a small baby teddy bear was there laying on top of a car roof."