Two taken to hospital after suspected gas explosion at house
The Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service confirmed it was at the scene and 'still trying to establish the circumstances'
Two people have been taken to hospital after a suspected gas explosion at a house in Sunderland.
Photos of severe damage at the property in Roker show its roof and part of its front missing, with bricks and debris in the street outside.
A cordon is in place with emergency vehicles outside the house.
A North East Ambulance spokesman said one person had been taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital, and another to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, both with blast injuries.
A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “At 3.45pm today we received a report of a suspected gas explosion at an address on Whickham Street, Sunderland.
“Emergency services are at the scene.
“Two men have been taken to hospital with injuries that are not deemed to be life-threatening at this time.
“Officers remain in the area alongside Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service and anyone with concerns is asked to speak to them.”
The Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service confirmed it was at the scene and “still trying to establish the circumstances”.
A spokesman said they had “assembled a number of crews and sent specialist crews”.
The service also posted on social media: “We have four appliances at the scene along with our Aerial Ladder Platform vehicle.”
Neighbour John Ellis, 43, received a phone call about the blast and believed his father – with whom he lives – was at home at the time as he works nights, but by luck he was doing training at work.
He said: “I was ringing him and he wasn’t answering and when I got here I thought he was dead.
“Luckily, it’s not turned out that way.”
Mr Ellis, a truck driver, said his council flat has been destroyed by the blast, along with the contents, and he was not insured.
He said: “The roof’s been blown off, the front’s collapsed, the back’s collapsed, it’s uninhabitable.”
But Mr Ellis said all the property – clothes, TV and furniture – can be replaced.
He thought his neighbour had been pulled out by the fire brigade and that the air ambulance had been at the scene.