Irlam homes destroyed by suspected gas explosion

Salford City Council has opened an information centre for families evacuated from properties following a suspected gas explosion in Irlam on Tuesday morning.

The information and rest centre will be set up on Wednesday at the Tiger Moth Pub on Swallow Drive in Irlam, where residents will be able to learn more about when they might be able to return to their homes.

Salford City Council said residents from up to 200 homes were being re-housed on Tuesday evening.

Schools in Irlam will be open as usual Wednesday morning and council staff will be on hand to speak to parents and carers and offer advice and help as appropriate.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service received reports of an explosion involving a row of four houses on Merlin Road in Irlam just after 7am on Tuesday morning.

Eight fire crews, consisting of 40 firefighters, and a dedicated urban search and rescue team secured the area on arrival and began a search of the four properties.

Salford City Council said 15 people in total were taken to hospital following the explosion. Nine adults and five children remain at Salford Royal Infirmary where they are receiving treatment for non-life threatening injuries. An 82 year old woman is receiving treatment for 30% burns at Wythenshawe Hospital and remains in a critical condition.

The Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said the incident is suspected to be caused by a gas explosion, and National Grid is currently working to isolate the gas supply.

As a precautionary measure a 600 metre exclusion zone is currently in place, involving approximately 200 houses.

City West Housing Trust, which owns the former council properties, confirmed works to one of properties on Merlin Road were underway. This included work to the kitchen of the property that appears to be involved in the explosion.

City West said its contractors are conducting its own internal investigations and will work with the relevant authorities to establish the cause of the explosion.

Tim Doyle, chief executive of City West Housing Trust, said: "At this point our priority is to assist those affected by the explosion. Residents remain our top priority. A dedicated team of officers has been established to provide temporary accommodation to all residents in need of emergency shelter. All homes that can be repaired and made safe will be done so as a matter of urgency to make sure that as many residents as possible can return home."

Silver Street, Merlin Road, Martin Drive, McLean Drive, Neville Drive, Keal Drive, Morillon Road and Curlew Drive were closed on Tuesday night.

Fire crews as well as the urban search and rescue team are continuing to carry out an extensive search of all the properties.

The road closures on Silver Street, Merlin Road and various other routes in the area will remain closed while the work continues.

  • Anyone needing further information should call 0161 909 6515

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