Watch shocking CCTV of two people fleeing from scene of Houghton gas explosion - as police confirm suspected arson attack
Shocking CCTV footage of the gas explosion at Houghton Boxing club shows two people running from the scene – as police confirm they are treating it as a suspected arson attack.
Footage shows two people making off from the scene of an explosion at Houghton Boxing Club, in Newbottle Street, in the early hours of Monday, December 16.
The two are just metres from the building when the blast brings down one of the walls and part of the roof of the former Houghton Snooker Club.
There's a flash of light and the pair only just appear to avoid being trapped beneath the flying debris.
The pair can then be seen fleeing from scene minutes before a crew from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service arrives at around 12.05am on Monday, December 16.
Houghton Boxing Club members are appealing for the public’s help to find the people in the CCTV footage.
A statement from the Houghton Boxing Club says: “We are a registered non-profitable children charity boxing club.
“Over the last 11 years we have raised over £60,000 to buy a building that we now own and we have also taken out a mortgage for £50,000.
“We ask all in the boxing fraternity - from the grassroots in boxing to the top professionals in the game – to help us get this amateur club up and running again.
“Don’t let these two predators destroyed the hopes and dreams of young children from Houghton Boxing Club.”
The club, which is run by volunteers, moved into the building off Newbottle Street at the end of May 2019 and the committee says the club has gone ‘from strength to strength’.
The committee worked quickly to get the building open and classes running again as soon as the building was deemed safe to use last month – but rooms remain off limits.
A spokesperson for Northumbria Police said: “An investigation is ongoing into the suspected gas explosion at Houghton Snooker Club, on Newbottle Street, in the early hours of December 16.
"We are currently treating the cause of the explosion as suspected arson.
“Anyone with information is asked to contact 101 quoting reference 13 161219 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”