House explosion in Birmingham: Woman found dead and man seriously hurt, UK
A woman has been found dead at the scene of a major gas explosion that destroyed a house in Birmingham and damaged others. A man also suffered life-threatening injuries in the blast in Dulwich Road, Kingstanding, on Sunday evening, 26 June 2022. Six other homes were damaged and properties were evacuated. A man rescued from the house by people at the scene had suffered "very serious" injuries, the ambulance service said.
He remained in a "critical" condition in hospital, emergency services said on Monday.
Four other men suffered minor injuries, following the blast just after 20:30 BST but were discharged by paramedics.
West Midlands Fire Service said it was "very sad to confirm that a woman has been found dead at the scene". Martin Ward-White, incident commander, said the woman who died was found "relatively quickly within the property that exploded".
"The next steps for the fire service and gas board will be to start the investigation into what caused this explosion," Mr Ward-White said. "We know it is gas but what actually caused that gas explosion?"
The service said it could be days before the exact cause of the blast was known.
Residents said they had clambered past flaming debris and through rubble to reach the man.
Ch Insp Kelly Monaghan, from West Midlands Police, said: "There [were]... some really heroic actions from members of the community last night." Ch Insp Monaghan said there were no suspicious circumstances "at this stage".
Asked about reports the house had been up for sale and that the boiler had needed replacing, fire service area commander Alex Shapland stated, "That may form part of the investigation. As I say, we've got colleagues and professionals who will be looking at all of the different circumstances."
Mr Shapland said a multi-agency inquiry was now under way and added. "We have searched the properties we can get into."
Neighbours were given a temporary home in a pub, including a man who said "we have nothing" apart from "clothes on our backs".
'Heroic' community praised for gas blast response
"Everyone was watching, the house was on fire, nobody was going in, so we could see a way in - so we went in the house, me and about a dozen others," a man, who did not want to be named, told the PA news agency. Kiera Parkinson's boyfriend Callum Attwood was among those who rushed inside and she said the day had been "a complete tragedy".
"But we are so proud of every single person that risked their lives to go in there and help somebody else," she added.
A neighbour who lives six doors away from the explosion said he heard a loud bang and came out to see efforts to help.
"[They] managed to pull somebody out of the rubble but as he was getting pulled out he was saying there was somebody left inside but they wasn't able to help any further as the flames started to get bigger and bigger," he said.