WORLD NEWS

‘Suspicious’ blast destroys UK house, kills child

Jun 27, 2012, 1:50 AM

LONDON (AP) – A suspected gas explosion reduced a house to smoking rubble, killed a 2-year-old boy and left a man seriously burned in northwest England on Tuesday, police and rescue workers said.

Police were not linking the explosion to terrorism, but said they were treating the child’s death as “suspicious.”

Superintendent Neil Evans said detectives were looking into reports of a domestic disturbance in the area the night before the explosion.

Fire service spokesman Dean Nankivell said firefighters were looking at a variety of possible causes for the blast, but “gas is definitely a strong contender.”

The National Grid utilities company said residents had complained of a smell of gas before the blast.

The explosion left a pile of rubble where the row house had stood in the town of Oldham, 160 miles (260 kilometers) northwest of London, and damaged two other houses beyond repair.

Greater Manchester Police said the injured man was taken to a nearby hospital with serious burns. He was in serious but stable condition Tuesday.

Firefighters searched the rubble amid fears more people could be trapped, but found no one.

The National Grid said five houses were damaged and 100 homes evacuated after the blast.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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‘Suspicious’ blast destroys UK house, kills child