Sunderland explosion: 'I thought it was a bomb' - shocked resident

Former Sunderland mayor Alan Emerson lives two doors away from the devastated homes.
Former Sunderland mayor Alan Emerson lives two doors away from the devastated homes.
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Residents living in a Sunderland street shaken by a huge explosion have spoken of their shock.

Former mayor of Sunderland Alan Emerson, who serves as a councillor for Ryhope, lives just two houses along from the buildings affected.

Residents of Rossyln Avenue have told of their shock at the explosion which rocked the street this morning.

Residents of Rossyln Avenue have told of their shock at the explosion which rocked the street this morning.

The 68-year-old said: "I was in the front room and all of a sudden it shook.

"I thought the roof was coming off and all I could see was debris everywhere.

"It's hard to believe that this has happened.

Mum of two Natalie Waterson, 24, was with her son Richy, three, and daughter, Ruby.

Emergency services were called to the scene at about 8.50am this morning.

Emergency services were called to the scene at about 8.50am this morning.

"I got out of the house as soon as I heard it," she said.

"I thought it was a bomb and the instinct was to run.

"Stuff was still falling from the sky and I just kept going.

"I had no shoes on and there was glass all over, but I had to get away."

Scott Anderson, who lives eight doors away from the affected houses, was at home with daughter Layla, eight.

Scott, 35, said: "I was making my daughter's breakfast when it happened.

"I thought my house was about to cave in, it was that loud.

"I'm not surprised that people have been injured.

"You never think this will happen on your doorstep and I just hope they are OK.

"It's been horrendous, but hopefully we'll know exactly what happened soon."