Birstall house explosion: Three hurt in gas blast
Three people have been hurt - two seriously - in a gas explosion at a house.
Police, ambulance and fire crews were called to a loud bang at the home in Birstall, Leicestershire, at 07:30 GMT.
One house had completely collapsed, one was partially destroyed and others were damaged. The explosion left glass and roof tiles scattered across the street.
Between 30 and 50 properties are thought to have been damaged in total in the explosion.
The fire service said three people were rescued, who were all taken to hospital.
Allington Drive is shut and a number of houses in the street have been evacuated as a precaution.
Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service said two of the injured people were in the partially collapsed house and one was in the fully collapsed property.
The fire service said it believed there had been no fire and no reports of gas being smelt.
Matt Cane, from Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "When crews arrived, they found two buildings had suffered significant structural collapse.
"We had reports of three people being missing in those buildings.
"Crews worked really hard in difficult conditions to gain access to the three people and rescue them. They have now been transported to hospital by road and air ambulance.
"One has fairly minor injuries. Two have significant injuries."
Tim Hargraves, East Midlands Ambulance Service duty operations manager, said: "One patient has been taken by air ambulance to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, one patient has been taken by air ambulance to the Major Trauma Centre in Coventry, and one patient is due to be taken by ambulance to the Leicester Royal Infirmary."
A spokesman from Cadent Gas, the collapsed home's supplier, said: "We are currently on site and our priority at this time is to make safe and we are working with the emergency services to achieve this.
"It's too early to speculate on the cause at this time."
A Charnwood Borough Council spokesman said: "We were called to support the emergency services following reports of a loud bang and a house being damaged in Allington Drive, Birstall earlier this morning.
"We have sent a senior officer to the scene, an officer from our building control team and volunteers to help provide temporary emergency accommodation at Birstall Parish Council offices in Birstall.
"An officer is also visiting the scene in case people affected by the incident need short-term temporary accommodation in the coming days."
Tony Timson, who lives nearby, said: "I was in bed and heard this massive explosion about 7:30.
"I quickly looked out of the window and saw debris settling on the street. I came out of the house and about 100 yards down the road was a house and a big black puff of smoke. It was completely demolished.
"We knew someone was in there."
He said within 10 minutes of calling the emergency services, the fire brigade was there.
A fundraising page has been set up to help those affected by the gas explosion.