Body of woman, 61, found after house collapse

Eleanor Barlow

A 61-year-old woman died in a house collapse, police have said.

The woman’s body was found after emergency services were called to reports of an explosion in the village of Summerseat in Ramsbottom, Bury, just before 9.30pm on Wednesday.

Three people were treated at the scene for minor injuries and a woman and child were taken to hospital but have since been discharged, police said.

On Thursday, a police cordon remained around a number of houses as investigations continued into the cause of the collapse, which destroyed the second to end house in a terraced row.

Chief Inspector Jamie Collins, from Greater Manchester Police, said the woman who died had not yet been formally identified but officers believed they knew who she was based on the address and inquiries which had been made.

He said: “Approximately 30 surrounding houses were initially evacuated to ensure the safety of those residents but most have now safely returned to their homes, with only those living on the immediate street still evacuated as a precaution.”

The scene in Ramsbottom, Bury, Greater Manchester, where the body of a woman has been found after a house collapsed on Wednesday evening
The scene in Ramsbottom, where the body of a woman has been found after a house collapsed (Peter Byrne/PA)

A joint investigation is under way between police, the fire service, Cadent gas and local authorities, Chief Insp Collins said.

He added: “We are keeping an open mind in regards to the circumstances of this incident and inquiries are ongoing.”

The gas supply in the area has been isolated as a precaution, he said.

Officers patrol a police cordon in Ramsbottom, Bury, Greater Manchester, where the body of a woman has been found after a house collapsed on Wednesday evening
Officers patrol a police cordon in Ramsbottom (Peter Byrne/PA)

Watch manager Steve Wilcock, from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, said there was a rapid response to the incident after an initial report of an explosion.

He said: “We attended and quickly located one female who unfortunately has been declared dead.

“At this tragic time we just want to offer our condolences to the family and friends involved.

“Summerseat is a very, very close knit community. It was evident last night and certainly today that communities come together to support each other.”

Incident commander, Watch Manager Steve Wilcock, centre, from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, gives a media briefing in Ramsbottom, Bury, Greater Manchester
Incident commander Steve Wilcock, centre, from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, gives a media briefing (Peter Byrne/PA)

He said crews would remain in the area for the next couple of days and they were being “cautious” about potential risks to other properties.

Mr Wilcock said firefighters had worked in dark and wet conditions.

He said: “Firefighters have worked throughout the night. The weather hasn’t been too kind to us but they’ve done a brilliant job.”

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