Man dies in hospital after an explosion destroys family home


A man has died after an explosion devastated a family home.

The victim, aged 63, died in hospital as a result of injuries suffered in the blast around 5am yesterday in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester. He has not yet been named.

Three members of the family living at the address had been taken to hospital after the blast devastated their home.

The scene of the explosion at the property in Ashton-under-Lyne

John Wilson, a double lung transplant survivor who uses a stair-lift, was forced to jump from a window in the property after it caught fire.

A neighbour is thought to have brought a mattress to break his fall before he was rushed to hospital.

His wife Hazel was caught by a neighbour when she leapt from the bedroom window, but is reported to have suffered a number of fractures.

The couple's daughter Danielle, 22, was forced to jump from the roof before the blast tore the house apart.

A neighbour told how he dragged her away as she exclaimed: "Help me, I'm on fire".

Danielle's older sister, Leanne Wilson, 25, earlier told the Press Association that she was "lost for words".

The scene of the explosion at the property in Ashton-under-Lyne

Wilson, who is a mother-of-one and lives just a couple of doors down from her family, said she heard the explosion.

She said of her family: "I just saw everyone on the road. I thought it was next door then everyone said 'it's your mum and dad's house'. A lot of people said they were very lucky.

"At the moment all we know is that they are stable, that's all I know at the moment. She (mum) is very shocked. They have lost everything."

Her three family members were taken to separate hospitals.

Wilson added that her sister slept in an attic room.

She said: "She jumped off the roof, I don't know where she landed. They (parents) jumped out of the bedroom window."

The scene of the explosion at the property in Ashton-under-Lyne

At least 10 people were injured, with several of those who came to help after hearing the explosion wounded by glass and flying debris, local MP Angela Rayner said.

She said the "massive explosion" followed a fire, and praised those living nearby for doing what they could to help the family.

She said: "Everyone in the local community is very shocked about what has happened, but there were some real Ashton heroes today who helped the three members of the family who were in the house at the time.

"The neighbours showed real community spirit and tremendous bravery to put their own safety at risk to try and help the Wilson family.

"And the people of Ashton are already rallying around to help the family which shows the real strength of local people."

The scene of the explosion at the property in Ashton-under-Lyne

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service commander Alan Ashworth said the number of casualties had risen to "at least 10´´ - telling reporters at the scene they are "concerned" for three of these as they have "quite severe burns and lacerations".

He said crews were initially called to reports of a blaze but when they arrived firefighters found a "number of people injured on the floor", saying it was "obvious" there had been an explosion.

Fire crews remained at the scene overnight and an investigation into what happened will begin on Wednesday.