Emergency services have been called to the scene of a suspected gas explosion which has destroyed a house in Haxby near York. At least one casualty has been confirmed.
The detached building was reduced to rubble and nearby properties were badly damaged. People in the street have said they don’t believe anyone was in the house at the time.
Pictures have been posted on Twitter of the scene – debris has been been scattered across the road and gardens. Windows in the neighbouring houses on the cul-de-sac were also blown out.
A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “Local residents have been evacuated and a rest centre has been set up at Haxby Memorial Hall for those affected.
“The explosion was reported to North Yorkshire Police at 7.30am today.
“There is at least one casualty; however, we are unable to provide any further information regarding casualties at this stage.
“The area is cordoned off and there will be disruption to the surrounding area as emergency services work to protect the wider area.”
An area around the scene of the blast was cordoned off as people have been forced to leave their homes.
Police are urging people to stay away from the scene, and stay indoors if they live in the area.
One local – who did not wish to be named – said the explosion sounded like a crash. He was around 150 yards away at the time and said the loud bang “flattened” the property and damaged others nearby.
“The house has been completely flattened. It sounded as if a bus or something had crashed into a house, or like an aeroplane crash,” he told the Press Association.
“All the properties adjacent to the one that’s blown up have got damaged windows and garages.”
Windows at St Margaret Clitherow Church on Holly Tree Lane and the presbytery are also understood to have been damaged.