Monday, March 4

Chilling drone pictures reveal devastating result of huge blast that flattened home and killed man



These pictures lay bare the scale destruction following a suspected gas explosion that flattened a home and killed a man.

Taken by a drone, they show debris littered all over the ground following this morning’s fatal blast.

Once thelocation of a house, the land is now covered by wood and rubble.

A man aged 63 died in the explosion in a leafy cul-de-sac in Haxby, North Yorkshire.

Police confirmed the body, believed to of the man who lived in the property, has been found.

An officer at the scene told reporters police have informed “various members of his family”.

“Formal identification is yet to take place. It will be some time before we can retrieve the body as the scene is still in a state of disarray. We need to be sure everyone is safe before doing that,” he added.

A detached home has been left a pile of rubble, while neighbouring homes are also damaged with windows blown out and debris on the street.

The explosion sounded like a crash, one local said.

The man, who did not wish to be named, was around 150 yards away at the time and described the loud bang which he said had “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 said.

“All the properties adjacent to the one that’s blown up have got damaged windows and garages.”

Fire and ambulance services are also on the scene.

North Yorkshire police said: “Emergency services are currently at the scene of an explosion at a property in Spingwood Haxby extensive damage & area cordoned off.”

The local PCSO on the scene warned residents to stay indoors.

She wrote on Twitter: “Members of the public are urged to stay indoors whilst fire, ambulance & police attend a major incident in Haxby”

She later added: “A house has been destroyed in what we believe to be a gas explosion.”

Local residents spoke of hearing the loud blast this morning.

One wrote on Twitter: “That picture of the house in Haxby is mental, we’re probably about half a mile away and it shook the whole house. Hope nobody was inside.”

Another added: “Bizarre start to the morning. House in the next street blowing up. Just hope it was empty. Feel for neighbours.”

“There was a large explosion around Springwood area, people all over Haxby could hear it and it made all of our houses shake!” wrote another.

Windows at St Margaret Clitherow Church on Holly Tree Lane and the presbytery are also understood to have been damaged.

A local said others had told him they did not think anyone was in the property at the time.

Bus driver Tom Holland, 28, who lives near to the explosion, said: “I live under a mile away from where it happened.

“Somewhere between 7.25am and 7.30am I felt a shockwave. It was like an earthquake.

“The whole room shook for a second. I’ve seen on social media that it has been felt in other parts of York too.

“I went down to the scene to have a look at. The stench down there is unbelievable and there is loads of smoke.

“The house that exploded is completely gone. It is just pile of rubbish.

“It has shattered windows from a number of houses each side of it and I saw at least one car that had its windows blown out.

“There was around four or five ambulances outside and people were being treated for shock. I also saw three or four fire engines and a number of police cars.”

Rob Varley, 30, who lives on the next street to where the explosion happened said: “All that I knew was that there was a massive bang at around 7.30am.

“I had woken up just five minutes before it happened but I was still half asleep when it went off.

“It was like a mix of a bomb, a plane crash and a bus crashing into the house. Our house shook and it felt like a bus had driven into the house.

“I looked out the window and saw smoke coming from the houses.

“I ran outside to see if anyone was hurt and saw the house in pieces.

“There was so much devastation and it had started to set on fire again and so we backed away.

“Both sides next door have been hit very badly by it.

“There was an air of distress when it happened. You just don’t know what happened.

“You just hope that no one was inside.

“Talking to people in the street they said the people that lived there weren’t there during the week and there wasn’t a car there so hopefully they were still away when it happened.”

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “Emergency services are at the scene of an explosion at a property in Springwood, Haxby near York.

“Extensive damage has been caused to one house and a number of others in the area are also damaged.

“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.”