Sunderland gas blast pensioner undergoes surgery

Scene of the gas explosion
Scene of the gas explosion
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A WEARSIDE pensioner has undergone surgery following a gas blast at her home.

Elizabeth Appleby, 80, suffered severe burns to her back and burns to her head and face during the explosion at her Hadleigh Road home.

The pensioner’s husband, John Appleby, 82, suffered burns to his hands as he tried to put out the flames from his wife’s burning clothing following the incident on Monday evening.

Both pensioners were taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary where Mrs Appleby was placed in intensive care and yesterday underwent surgery for her injuries.

Engineers from Northern Gas Networks were called to the scene, but said no leaks in their network of gas pipes had been detected.

Margarita Morrison, director of customer service, for Home Group, which owns the rented property, said: “We’re shocked this has happened and we’re offering any support we can to their family.

“We’ll work with the fire service and health and safety executive.”

Investigations so far identified there were no faults in the gas supply or gas equipment, and the annual landlords’ gas safety certificate for the property was up to date.