Damage to terraced homes following gas blast in Shaw area of Oldham, Greater Manchester
Damage to terraced homes following gas blast in Shaw area of Oldham, Greater Manchester

Detectives are treating the death of a toddler in a gas blast in Oldham as suspicious.

Two-year-old Jamie Heaton was killed after an explosion occurred due to a suspected gas leak in the Shaw area of Oldham, Greater Manchester.

"At this time detectives are treating his death as suspicious. Police do not believe anyone to be unaccounted for following a large explosion in Shaw, Oldham," Greater Manchester Police said.

A 27-year-old man who was injured in the blast is reported to be in a serious but stable condition in hospital.

It was initially feared that other residents might have been trapped in the rubble after the explosion.

Dean Nankivell, station manager at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, told the BBC: "The scene down there is catastrophic. It's just a great big pile of bricks. Whatever has caused this has gone with some force. Gas is definitely a strong contender. If there is anybody in there, we will be there until we find them."

Superintendent Neil Evans of Greater Manchester Police said: "This incident has shocked the community of Shaw and I want to reassure them that all emergency services are committed to helping those whose homes are damaged in whatever way we can and to get all others who have been evacuated back home as soon as possible.

"When incidents such as this happen, communities really pull together and this is the case in Shaw. All residents are rallying around one another and I know they will continue to support each other and the emergency services over the coming hours and days."