11 injured in Britain gas explosion

November 2nd, 2010 - 8:37 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 2 (IANS) At least 11 people, including six children, were taken to hospital, while a 76-year-old woman was fighting for her life after a gas explosion ripped through a row of houses in Manchester early Tuesday.

Firefighters and emergency services personnel were searching through the rubble of the destroyed houses in Salford area, The Guardian reported.

The blast occurred at around 7.15 a.m., an official said. One firefighter said he heard the blast from six miles away. Police have warned people to stay away from the area.

“At the moment it is very difficult to ascertain if there is still anyone trapped inside,” Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson Tony Lander was quoted as saying.

Around 50 firefighters, eight fire engines and scores of ambulances and rescue teams were at the scene. Many roads leading to the area have been closed.

A resident William Billinge woke up when a “very loud bang” and explosion shook his house. Exiting his house, he saw a scene of devastation.

“There’s nothing left of them. There is debris everywhere, all over the place. Four houses are completely flattened,” he said.

Barbara Holgate had just returned home after working a night shift at a supermarket 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.

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