Man dies after Ashton house explosion
Tuesday 9th August 2016 @ 10:04 by nigelpeditor
News

Man dies after Ashton house explosion

A man has died following an explosion at a house in Ashton.

John Wilson, 63, who had to leap to safety from a window in the property on to mattresses hauled into the street by hero neighbours, sadly died in hospital tonight.

The blast happened just before 5.10am this morning when officers were called to Curzon Road following reports of a fire and explosion at a property.

Police and fire crews attended and discovered the wrecked house with debris thrown across the street and neighbouring properties also badly damaged.

Nine other people were injured in the explosion.

Officers from both Greater Manchester Police and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service are currently investigating the circumstances behind the fire.

Road closures are currently in place including Curzon Road from Halford Street, and Whiteacre Road.

Tributes

Ashton MP Angela Rayner sent her sincerest condolences to Mr Wilson, his friends and family following the tragic news of his death.

Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds tweeted: “How very sad. Thoughts with his family.”

Family named

The family, whose house was obliterated by the explosion, had been named earlier today as the Wilson family.

Shocking images show the extent of the damage done to the house on Curzon Road after an explosion ripped through the property this morning.

Emergency services were travelling to the scene after reports of a fire when the explosion happened.

John Wilson, who it’s believed was recovering from a double lung transplant, his wife Hazel and their daughter Danielle all managed to escape the house before the explosion.

Mr Wilson managed to jump out of the house onto a mattress that had been brought by a neighbour.

Mrs Wilson jumped out of the bedroom window of the property and was caught by a neighbour but suffered multiple fractures.

Their daughter, Hazel, was sleeping in the loft bedroom but managed to climb onto the roof of the house and jump to safety.

Those who were injured have suffered severe lacerations and burns.

Images show how the house has collapsed at the front and back and the fire service has confirmed that the properties on either side of the explosion will have to be demolished too.

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Gas and electricity supplies have been turned off in a number of streets surrounding the incident.

A major operation is ongoing while Fire Investigators try to establish the cause of the explosion.

Some neighbours said they thought that the explosion was ‘the result of a medical oxygen tank exploding,’ but this could not be confirmed by Fire Investigators at the scene.

Fire Commander Alan Ashworth confirmed that an explosion had followed the fire but said: “It was too early to speculate on the exact cause at this moment.”

LISTEN: Incident Commander Alan Ashworth.

Witness in neighbouring Hulme Street described how they were awoken by the sound of screams prompting people to run out of their houses to investigate.

One resident Clare Evans, who helped in the rescue of an elderly victim told how people were met with a scene of “pure devastation” as they saw flames shooting from the mid terrace house.

Residents still in their night clothes, bravely rushed to the burning house to help victims still trapped in the inferno.

They were then themselves caught in an explosion that sent debris  flying over a large area injuring a further seven people.

LISTEN: Clare Evans describes the scene on Curzon Road this morning.

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In response to the explosion in Ashton, local MP Angela Rayner said:“My thoughts are with the Wilson family at this time, especially with Mr Wilson who, I understand, was recovering at home from a double lung transplant when the fire and explosion broke out early this morning.

“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.

“This is a terrible, horrifying sequence of events, which of course is now subject to a full investigation by police and the Fire and Rescue services.”

She also praised the bravery of the neighbours who helped the Wilson family.

“The scene is one of utter devastation. The neighbours showed real community spirit and tremendous bravery to put their own safety at risk to try and help the Wilson family. The people of Ashton are already rallying around to help the family which shows the real strength of local people.”

A crowdfunding page has been set up to help those affected; crowdfunding.justgiving.com/curzon-road-explosion-help.

LISTEN: One neighbour, whose son was injured in the explosion, describes being woken by the fire this morning.