A gas explosion hospitalised two people after it tore through a flat in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland, blasting a huge hole in the wall. Emergency services evacuated Burn Street Lane in Bonhill as they attended the scene.
One man was taken to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary with burn injuries, Police Scotland said in a statement. A second man, 72, was taken to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley suffering from smoke inhalation, but he was subsequently released, they added.
One of the victims described the scene to local journalist Connor Giles as a "war zone", he said on Twitter.
A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: "We received the first of many 999 calls relating to a fire at Burn Street Lane in Bonhill shortly before 2.40pm on Friday."
He added: "Crews from Dumbarton, Balloch and Clydebank attended and extinguished a fire in a two-storey building."
As people were forced to evacuate their homes, West Dunbartonshire Council set up a temporary rest centre within a nearby early learning centre to accommodate residents and provide warm drinks. A spokeswoman said accommodation was provided for those directly affected and they would continue to provide support throughout the weekend for anyone who needs it.
Gas engineers carried out checks in the area. A spokeswoman for Scottish Gas Networks said: "Our engineers attended quickly, carried out safety checks and have now left the site."
"A joint investigation involving police and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is underway to establish the circumstances of the incident," Police Scotland said.
There have been 31 deaths and over 1,000 injuries labelled gas-related incidents across the UK in the last three years, according to price comparison site, USwitch.
"Gas leaks in the home are usually the result of poorly fitted, badly maintained or faulty appliances like boilers and cookers," they said.
If you smell gas in your home
- Turn off the gas supply.
- Opening all the doors and windows to ensure air flow. If this is not possible, leave the house.
- Do not use any electrical switches, including light switches and doorbells, as the sparks could cause an explosion.
- Do not smoke, use matches or burn any naked flames are also to be avoided
- Finally, call the National Gas emergency number – 0800 111 999.