Wirral blast 'most frightening experience of my life'

Image caption All the windows at Christopher Power's house shattered and bricks and debris were strewn on the roads

A man who was forced from his home in the blast in Wirral on Saturday said it was the "most frightening experience" of his life.

Two people were seriously hurt and 31 others injured when several buildings collapsed in the blast in Bebington.

Actor Christopher Power, 48, said he had collapsed in shock after witnessing the devastation.

More than 100 people were evacuated from their homes. An investigation into the cause is continuing.

'Shock and exhaustion'

Mr Power, who has had bit-parts in Coronation Street and Hollyoaks, was sitting in his pyjamas watching television when it happened.

He said: "I thought at first it was a car bomb. Our cat was by the window and I heard a bang and he just shot off out of the house. I ran to ask the neighbours what had happened. I was shocked to see the devastation in our house. The windows had blown in and there were bricks everywhere.

"I was asked to leave my house and I just collapsed in the street with shock and exhaustion."

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Media captionDrone footage shows the blast destruction

A children's dance studio - being used just an hour before - was destroyed.

"If it had happened during the day, people would be dead," Mr Power said, adding: "The building is in the main walkway at the precinct. There would have been people walking about."

Image caption Christopher Power said he collapsed in the street with shock after seeing the devastation in his home
Image copyright PA
Image caption Many people in the area felt the blast

Mr Power and his wife Pauline, 46, and their 16-year-old son are trying to find temporary accommodation and have no clothing except what they were wearing on Saturday.

He said: "We are going to stay at a friend's house while they are away. We are taking it one day at a time.

"We have lived in this house for 10 years and then bang, devastation. I panicked. It's horrible. You're not allowed in to your home. It is the most frightening experience I've ever had in my life."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Twelve ambulances and up to 40 firefighters attended the incident

A Merseyside Police investigation is under way after the explosion, which happened at about 21:15 GMT, in Boundary Road, Bebington.

The National Grid said it had found no trace of gas after reports of gas leaks were probed before the blast - not far from the scene - and in other parts of the area on Friday.

Mr Power said: "There is an anger inside. Why did this happen? Why are we not being told anything? Why are you not letting us back into our homes? Why is it a crime scene?

"It's your home, the place you live, breathe, spend time with family and friends, when that is taken away from you it's just devastating."

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