Birmingham & Black Country

Elderly woman rescued in Wolverhampton house explosion

Exploded house Image copyright Willenhall Fire Service
Image caption An elderly woman was trapped in the rubble for about two hours

A 76-year-old woman has been rescued from rubble after her home was destroyed in an explosion caused by a suspected gas leak.

The woman, who was trapped for about two hours at the house on Penn Road, Wolverhampton, suffered minor injuries.

A West Midlands Ambulance spokesperson said the woman appeared "to have been saved by her washing machine holding back additional rubble and timbers".

The road remains shut and police have told the public to avoid the area.

Image copyright WMFS
Image caption The woman was "extraordinarily lucky" to sustain only minor injuries, the ambulance service said
Image copyright West Midlands Fire Service
Image caption Fire and ambulance crews worked to free the elderly woman, whose condition is not known
Image copyright West Midlands Fire Service
Image caption The house on Penn Road was completely destroyed in the explosion
Image copyright WMAS
Image caption West Midlands Ambulance hazardous response team said the woman's washing machine helped protect her from rubble

One man who lives nearby said: "Our house just shook - we woke up immediately and my partner was screaming and we thought there was something a lot closer. We heard sirens going off for about 30 minutes.

"It took me a second to work out what had happened, I walked down to have a look, and I could see the two other houses - but the house wasn't there. It was just rubble."

Two neighbours and a taxi driver, who witnessed the explosion as he was driving past, were treated for shock.

There is debris on the street, which has been shut between Lonsdale Road and Claremont Road.

Emergency services advised the public to avoid the area.

Image copyright West Midlands Fire Service
Image caption Emergency services remain at the scene to make it safe
Image copyright West Midlands Fire Service
Image caption Police, fire and ambulance services are at the scene of the explosion

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