Gas blast driver had 'unbelievably lucky escape'

image captionMany people living nearby were woken by the blast

A van driver and passers-by had an "unbelievably lucky escape" when a gas explosion tore apart his vehicle

Gas from a leaking cylinder in the back of the van exploded as the door was being opened, it is believed.

Witnesses described hearing "a large bang" which "rocked" nearby houses, just before 07:30 BST.

The man was taken to Bristol's Southmead Hospital "with minor injuries", said South West Ambulance Service.

image captionThe circumstances behind the blast "are not believed to be suspicious"

The explosion woke people in homes in Linden Road and Cranbrook Road, in the Redland area of Bristol, and debris was spread for 30m around the site.

It is believed the driver was going away for a "rugby weekend" and had earlier loaded a gas barbeque into the van.

One woman who lives nearby, but did not want to be named, said the man was "one unbelievably lucky guy".

image captionA number of people were walking down the road at the time but were not injured

She said passers-by, including a cyclist, were "very shaken up".

An Avon Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said the circumstances surrounding the explosion "are not believed to be suspicious".

image captionThe explosion happened in the Redland area of Bristol

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