Tyne & Wear

Ashington homes evacuated in gas blast threat

Dozens of homes in a Northumberland town were evacuated after a man threatened to blow up his flat.

Police and firefighters evacuated 40 houses in the Myrtle street area of Ashington on Monday just after 1700 BST following the explosion threat.

Electricity and gas supplies to the area were also cut off as a precaution, Northumbria Police said.

Police later detained a 32-year-old man and residents were allowed home five hours after the alert.

A police spokesman said: "A number of neighbouring properties were evacuated as the man had indicated that he had turned on the gas and had threatened to ignite it.

"Approximately 40 households were evacuated and Hirst Park Middle School in Ashington was opened for their use."

He added that a man was later led to safety from a flat and had been detained.

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