Women dies in house collapses after 'explosion'

A woman has died and two others are in hospital after a house collapsed in what is thought to have been an explosion in Greater Manchester.

Police and fire teams attended reports of an explosion last night in Ramsbottom, Bury, just after 9pm.

One woman was pronounced dead at the scene after emergency services found her body, police have confirmed.

One neighbour, who lives two doors along from the collapsed house, said it was ‘truly the most horrific thing’ he had ever experienced.

He wrote in a neighbourhood Facebook group: ‘I think we are all suffering from shock and I don’t know who to contact to understand what we do next? 

‘Thoughts and prayers with all of our neighbours on Eastview. It was truly the most horrific thing I’ve ever experienced.

‘It shook our house from side to side and felt like a bomb went off, to the point I fell off the sofa with my son in my arms.’

He added his family, including his four-week-old baby, were safe and staying with friends. 

Medics treated three people at the scene and took one woman and another younger child to hospital but neither was seriously injured, North West Ambulance Service confirmed.

Around 60 properties had their power cut off in the East View estate in the village of Summerseat, and around five houses were evacuated. 

Electricity has since been restored to the majority of homes that were cut off but six have remained without power ‘due to the nature of the incident’, Electricity North West said.

A woman posted in the same group that her friend’s little daughter, who lives next door to the house that collapsed, ‘bravely walked away from the chaos and was devastated asking for her toys’. 

The woman then appealed to residents for toys and clothes that she said she would collect for the little girl and any other children affected.

In other posts, people offered up their homes for those who had been evacuated whilst others said they could provide lifts or look after pets. 

Bury council leader Eamonn O’Brien tweeted: ‘The Council & emergency services are currently supporting residents. The community response has been incredible as always.’ 

The fire service confirmed there was a ‘collapse of a property’ but could not yet give any further details about it being an explosion.

But many witnesses and nearby residents have called the collapse an ‘explosion’ on social media.

A MEN reporter said there was a ‘strong smell of gas in the air’ and photographed a Cadent van, the UK’s biggest gas distribution network, at the scene. 

Bury Council said: ‘Our building control officers are on site inspecting the premises and adjoining buildings, and temporary accommodation is available for anyone who needs it.

‘All the emergency services and utility companies are still there, so we would advise people to stay away from the area for the time being.’

Greater Manchester Police said: ‘Officers responding to reports of a collapsed house in Ramsbottom have sadly found the body of a woman.

‘Five properties were evacuated as a precaution and a small scene remains in place. 

‘A woman was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.  

‘Three people were treated at the scene by paramedics for minor injuries. A woman and a child were also taken to hospital with minor injuries. 

‘Enquiries are ongoing to establish the circumstances surrounding this incident.

‘A joint investigation is currently underway between GMP, GMFRS and Bury local authority partners.’

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