Essex

Two elderly women made homeless by Essex bungalow blast

Two elderly women have been made homeless by an explosion thought to have been caused by gas in a bungalow between their two homes in Essex.

Police were called by the fire brigade to St Giles Crescent, Maldon, shortly after 1620 GMT following the blast.

A bungalow, believed to be unoccupied, and the two adjoining homes were damaged. A structural engineer has been called to examine the buildings.

Police cordoned off a section of the road and said there were no casualties.

The firefighter officer in charge said the end-of-terrace bungalow had been extensively damaged by the explosion and is now "structurally unsound".

Suspicion of gas

The two adjoining properties were also badly damaged and the people living there will be unable to return to their homes.

Station officer Phil Pidgeon said: "There has been a substantial explosion inside the bungalow and it has damaged it severely.

"The windows have been blown out and the roof is hanging off.

"Crews are standing by awaiting a structural engineer to assess the damage and gas engineers to confirm our suspicions that this was a gas explosion."

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