Tees

Michael Casey accused of sparking Hartlepool gas blast

Gas blast
Image caption The house was empty at the time of the blast

A man has appeared in court charged with trying to steal a boiler and triggering a gas blast in Hartlepool which a woman was injured.

A hole was blown in the roof and nearby homes had to be evacuated after the explosion in Sheriff Street, on Friday.

Michael Casey, 48, of no fixed address, appeared before Hartlepool magistrates accused of burglary and arson with intent to endanger life.

No pleas were taken and he was remanded to Teesside Crown Court on 11 August.

After the explosion Cleveland Police put up a 50m cordon and evacuated residents from nearby Tankerville Street and Thornville Road.

The injured woman was walking past the empty property at the time and was not badly hurt, police said.

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