House explosion kills a 79-year-old woman and leaves two injured
A 79-year-old woman has died and two people have been injured in an explosion which caused a house to collapse.
The blast at the property in Summerseat, near Bury, happened at about 21:30 GMT on Wednesday.
Police said the woman died at the scene.
Another woman and a child were left with minor injuries and taken to hospital, others were treated at the scene by paramedics.
Greater Manchester Police said the surrounding houses were initially evacuated but, other than those on the same road, residents have returned to their properties.
Ch Insp Jamie Collins said an investigation with the fire service, Cadent gas and local council was underway and the gas supply had been isolated.
GMFRS watch manager Steve Wilcock said it “would not be appropriate to speculate at this time on a probable cause” as an investigation was underway.
He said crews would remain at the scene for the next couple of days and praised local residents for their “help and co-operation”.
“Summerseat is a close-knit community and there has been an outpouring of support, with many neighbours offering their homes to those evacuated from roughly 20 houses last night,” he said.
“Given the nature of this scene,hous I must also praise the professionalism and dedication of the firefighters who have worked here all night in the driving rain, as well as throughout the morning.”
He also expressed his condolences to the family and friends of the woman who died.
“Our thoughts are with them at what must be an incredibly sad and difficult time,” he said.
A post-mortem examination to establish the woman’s cause of death is due to take place later.
Ch Insp Collins added: “We believe we know who she is based on this address and initial enquiries.”
Gavin Jones, who lives nearby, said the house had been “flattened basically”.
“Seeing a house blown out is a scary situation,” he said.
“A lot of people were confused, there was quite a lot of panic.”
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