Gas Explosion Levels Homes in Manchester, England

A child was killed and a male resident suffered serious burns in the blast, which prompted police to evacuate 30 homes and a day care.

A large gas explosion on June 26 leveled rowhouses on a street in Shaw, part of the Oldham section of the city of Manchester, England, killing a child and injuring at least one other resident. The Telegraph reported one man was hospitalized with burns over 80 percent of his body and a fourth person was unaccounted for after the blast around 11:15 a.m. local time.

Thirty homes and a day care were evacuated after the explosion, according to the newspaper's report. Greater Manchester Police Superintendent Neil Evans said, "First and foremost, our thoughts are with the family of the child who has tragically died. We understand this tragedy has caused a lot of upset and shock in the close-knit community of Shaw. We are in the very early stages of an investigation, but our priority at the moment is to try and reach anyone who may be caught up in the explosion. Three properties have been involved in a major explosion, and a large-scale response involving the emergency services and other agencies is in place. The child's family has been informed and they are being supported by specially trained police officers.

"This is an ongoing search and rescue operation, and more information will be released when it is available," Evans said.

The Health and Safety Executive offers an extensive online resource page about residential gas safety. Landlords are legally responsible for the safety of their tenants and by law must:

  • Repair and maintain gas pipework, flues, and appliances in safe condition
  • Ensure an annual gas safety check on each appliance and flue
  • Keep a record of each safety check

HSE said landlords also should keep tenants informed about their responsibilities.

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