Cordon still in place around Sunderland gas blast house

editorial image
0
Have your say

This is all that is left of two properties caught up in an early morning gas blast.

The explosion in Rosslyn Avenue in Ryhope at 8.50am on Friday has left one Sunderland mum needing hospital treatment.

Susan Shepherd, 40, had been discovered under rubble following a rescue by firefighters.

An ambulance spokeswoman said she was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle in a serious but stable condition.

The blast flattened the semi-detached property where she had been alone and left a neighbouring property damaged.

Debris from the blast was strewn over a wide area. Roof files were scattered across a footpath and into a cornfield behind the house, and a white PVC back door was blasted over the garden fence.

Our team have ensured they have everything they need in terms of clothing and necessities for the short term and we continue to offer them support and assistance.

Michelle Meldrum

Both properties have since been demolished and a metal fence placed around them.

The woman’s daughter was not at home at the time of the blast.

Yesterday, residents in neighbouring properties were evacuated from their homes but were able to return later the same evening after safety checks were made.

One family are currently working with housing group Gentoo to relocate to a permanent home after their property was demolished while a second family are being placed into temporary accommodation while their home undergoes safety checks.

Fire crews have been in the area offering residents home fire safety checks.

Michelle Meldrum, executive director of operations at Gentoo, said: “The safety and wellbeing of our residents is of paramount importance to us and we have a team of staff on hand offering support.

“All residents in the surrounding area have been given the contact details for specific members of Gentoo staff for any queries or concerns they have.

“Following the necessary safety checks, all residents are now back in their homes with the exception of one family, where their property requires further repair.

“We offered them temporary accommodation yesterday, which they turned down as they preferred to stay with family friends nearby, however we have heard today that their situation has now changed and we are organising

temporary accommodation for them now.

“With regards to the residents of the two properties now demolished, one remains in hospital and the couple in the other property are in temporary accommodation, provided by Gentoo. We have already offered this couple alternative permanent accommodation which they are now considering.

“Our team have ensured they have everything they need in terms of clothing and necessities for the short term and we continue to offer them support and assistance.

“We are working closely with the emergency services and all other parties involved whilst investigations are ongoing.”

Watch: Video footage of house explosion

Partner of gas blast victim says fridge saved her life