Stoke & Staffordshire

Stoke-on-Trent house collapse 'caused by build-up of gas'

Stoke house
Image caption Health and Safety Executive investigators are at the scene

An explosion which destroyed a house was caused by a build-up of gas inside the property, police have said.

Two people suffered minor injuries in the explosion at the end-of-terrace house on Argyle Street, in Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent, on Tuesday.

An investigation has determined the cause as accidental ignition.

Members of the public had reported smelling gas in the area a week earlier, but National Grid said it failed to find a leak.

The company said staff visited on 19 May and again three days later, but found nothing.

Staffordshire Police said the gas was believed to have been ignited by an electrical item in one of the rooms.

Demolition work

Scenes of crime officers from Staffordshire Police investigated the site on Wednesday along with the fire service.

Det Insp Steve Morrey said it was fortunate that no-one had been more seriously injured.

Neighbouring homes were evacuated and nearby roads were also closed.

A cordon remains around the house, which is now in the hands of the Health and Safety Executive.

Demolition work is expected to start later.

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