Emergency services are currently at the scene on Buckley Street in Shaw where three homes have been severely damaged by a suspected gas explosion. The explosion happened around 11.15am when the emergency services were called following a report that homes had been seriously damaged by a large explosion.
Police, fire and ambulance services are currently at the scene and a cordon has been put in place. At this stage it is confirmed that a young child has been killed and one person has been taken to Wythenshaw hospital with 20% burns. The fire service are searching for a third person who they suspect might be buried in the rubble.
Superintendent Neil Evans, who is leading the rescue operation, said: “First and foremost, our thoughts are with the family of the child who has tragically died. We understand this tragedy has caused a lot of upset and shock in the close-knit community of Shaw. We are in the very early stages of an investigation but our priority at the moment is to try and reach anyone who may be caught up in the explosion. The child’s family has been informed and they are being supported by specially trained police officers.”
Over one hundred people in the area have been evacuated. A rest centre has been set up at Crompton House school, Rochdale Road, for people affected by the explosion. Local residents evacuated due to this incident are advised to proceed to the school site where refreshments and assistance are available.
Motorists are advised to avoid the area to enable emergency rescue work to continue. Road closures are in place in Shaw following an explosion in the area this morning. Crompton Way is closed from the junction of Rochdale Road to Linney Lane. Rochdale Road is closed between Beal Lane and Linney Lane. Motorists are again advised to avoid the area to enable emergency rescue work to continue.
Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, who was in a Westminster Hall debate at the time of the explosion is travelling to Shaw immediately to visit the scene and those affected by the blast. She said, “This is a shocking incident and my thoughts are with the casualties and their families. I am in close contact with the emergency services and will continue to monitor the situation.”