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Lancashire: Child dead and four injured after homes destroyed in gas explosion

·2 min read
<p>George Arthur Hinds: his parents described him as their ‘little angel’</p> (PA)

George Arthur Hinds: his parents described him as their ‘little angel’

(PA)

A two-year-old boy died yesterday after a gas explosion destroyed two terraced houses in Heysham.

Lancashire Fire reported that 10 units had been sent to a row of homes on Mallowdale Avenue at about 2.30am on Sunday. Four people were injured, two are critical.

George Arthur Hinds, aged two years and 10 months, died. His parents Vicky Studholme and Stephen Hinds were also injured but not seriously, police said. In a tribute to their son, they said: “We are devastated at the loss of our beautiful George. He was so precious to us. We have no words to describe how we feel and just want time to ourselves to come to terms with what has happened. Our beautiful little angel grew his wings today.”

The emergency services said two houses collapsed and another was badly damaged. Lancashire Fire declared a major incident over the blast on Sunday morning, while police said a safety cordon had been put in place and nearby residents had been evacuated from the area.

“Road closures are in place and people are being asked to avoid the entire area at this time,” the force added.

Several residents of the area tweeted that emergency service sirens had been heard near the scene for a prolonged time.

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Susan Faulkner, 74, who lives on Mallowdale Avenue, said: “I woke up with this huge bang. The sound really shook me, I’m still quite shaken by it. I’ve never experienced that before. It was like a bomb going off, it was that kind of impact.”

Dan Knowles, who lives four streets away from the explosion, said he thought there had been an earthquake. “My wife and I thought there was an earthquake which woke us, the whole house shook. We immediately checked on our kids and got back in bed. We then heard sirens and my wife checked Facebook, when we found out that there’d been a gas explosion. We stayed indoors and switched everything off at the source and then sat up all night worrying.”

David Morris, MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale, said home secretary Priti Patel offered her support and assistance to emergency services staff who worked on the incident.

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