Manchester

Man dies following Ashton-under-Lyne house explosion

John and Hazel Wilson Image copyright Manchester Evening News
Image caption John Wilson was trapped in the house with his wife Hazel and their daughter Danielle

A man has died following a suspected gas explosion at a house in Greater Manchester.

The blast caused the terraced house in Curzon Road, Ashton-under-Lyne to collapse at both the front and back.

John Wilson, 63, a double lung transplant survivor who was forced to jump from a window in the property, died in hospital, the BBC understands.

His wife Hazel and daughter Danielle were also trapped and suffered "life-changing injuries", firefighters said.

Seven other people, including neighbours who came to the family's aid, suffered minor wounds.

Residents said they heard the explosion at about 04:45 BST on Tuesday.

'Community spirit'

A neighbour is thought to have brought a mattress to break Mr Wilson's fall as he jumped from a window to escape.

Hazel Wilson was caught by a neighbour when she jumped from the bedroom window, but is reported to have suffered a number of fractures.

Their daughter Danielle, 22, jumped from the roof before the house collapsed. A neighbour said he dragged her away as she said: "Help me, I'm on fire".

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Media captionThe facade of the house has been completely destroyed

The couple's eldest daughter Leanne Wilson, 25, who lives on the same street, said she heard the explosion.

"I just saw everyone on the road. I thought it was next door, then everyone said 'It's your mum and dad's house'.

"A lot of people heard it, it was quite a big bang."

Image copyright GMFRS
Image caption The blast caused the house in Ashton-under-Lyne to collapse at the front and back

Ashton-under-Lyne MP Angela Rayner praised those living nearby for trying to help the family.

She said: "There were some real Ashton heroes..who helped the three members of the family who were in the house.

"The neighbours showed real community spirit and tremendous bravery to put their own safety at risk to try and help the Wilson family."

Resident Charlotte Lisle, who lives a few streets away, said her home "shook" with the blast.

"It was like a bomb went off. It woke the whole street. There were properly high flames."

She said she saw the family: "They were in a mess, they were screaming."

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said firefighters would remain at the scene overnight and a joint investigation with the police has begun.

Image copyright GMFRS
Image caption Several of those who came to help after hearing the explosion were wounded by glass and flying debris

Sam Armstead, 28, who lives behind the property, said: "An uncontrollable bang, it made you duck, it made me cower. All you saw was a burst of flames coming out of the roof. When I got to the house it was all still in tact then it blew out.

"If you look at the state of the house it's unbelievable that people got out alive."

Eight properties on the road had to be evacuated and it is believed an adjoining house will be demolished.

The North West Ambulance service said one patient was taken to the Manchester Royal Infirmary, another to Wythenshawe Hospital and others to Tameside General Hospital.

Other casualties admitted themselves to hospital.

Image copyright GMFRS
Image caption The roof of the neighbouring house has been damaged in the explosion
Image copyright GMFRS
Image caption The cause of the blast is still unknown

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