Berkshire

Ascot homes evacuated after suspected gas explosion

Damage to the property on Sutherland Chase following the explosion. Picture taken by Murray Barter.
Image caption A number of neighbouring properties have been evacuated

Two people have been airlifted to hospital with burn injuries following a suspected gas explosion in Berkshire.

Thames Valley Police were called to a "badly damaged" detached house on Sutherland Chase, Ascot, at 12:23 GMT.

Engineers from National Grid, which is responsible for gas supplies in the area, attended the incident alongside Berkshire fire service.

A number of properties in Sutherland Chase and nearby Nash Gardens have been sealed off by police.

Neighbours said the front of the house was demolished, leaving the top of the stairs exposed and a large amount of rubble in front of it.

'Windows shook'

The condition of the man and woman who were taken to hospital in Southampton is not yet known, but there are not believed to be any other casualties.

A spokesman for National Grid said engineers had cut off the gas supply to the property.

But he added it was "too early to speculate on the cause of the explosion at this time".

A police cordon is in place and an investigation is under way while the road has been reopened.

Samantha Billingham, who lives on Sutherland Chase, said her husband witnessed the explosion.

"He heard a really loud noise and our windows shook," she said.

Roger Crunden, who also lives in a nearby property, said: "It was how I imagined a bomb going off to sound."

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