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Lancashire: Major incident declared after homes destroyed in gas explosion

A major incident has been declared after a gas explosion reportedly destroyed up to three terraced houses in Heysham, Lancashire, early on Sunday morning.

Lancashire Fire reported that 10 units had been called to a row of homes on Mallowdale Avenue at about 2.30am on Sunday and that firefighters were searching a collapsed property.

“A major incident has been declared after we called to terraced houses on Mallowdale Avenue,” the fire service said on Twitter.

“It has been reported that there has been an explosion at a property and firefighters are searching the collapsed property.”

Meanwhile, Lancashire Police said a safety cordon had been put in place and nearby residents had been evacuated from the area.

“Road closures are in place and people are being asked to avoid the entire area at this time,” the force added.

Although there were no immediate reports of casualties, several residents of the area tweeted that up to three houses had collapsed and that emergency services sirens had been heard near the scene for a prolonged time.

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North West Ambulance Service also sent units to the scene and Electricity North West said it had temporarily removed power supplies to the area due to safety concerns while the blast is being investigated.

“It sounded like a bomb going off this morning, just after two o’clock,” a local resident told Dave Guest, a former chief reporter for the BBC’s North West Tonight.

“It literally shook the whole bed, we felt like we were going through the floor – and then we jumped out of bed and we just ran to see what was going on.”