Salford gas explosion 'sounded like a bomb'

Salford gas explosion scene One house was completely destroyed and up to four others were damaged

People living near the scene of a suspected gas explosion in Salford described how they were woken by shaking furniture and a noise that "sounded like a bomb".

Fourteen people were injured and four houses were destroyed in the blast at 0700 GMT in Irlam.

Residents told BBC News about their experiences.

Paula Bigland

"It sounded like a bomb going off seriously - I mean my son was in bed.

"All the neighbours were out so we had a look in the drive and it was my nextdoor neighbour that actually said it had been a gas explosion.

"One of my friends, her roof's gone off, windows gone through, her front door went in and they wouldn't let her go back in for her dog so that proves how serious it is.

"We've all been evacuated and we've heard until about teatime."

Vincent Collins

"I awoke at 0715 to the wardrobes in the bedroom shaking. I thought they were falling over on us.

"I went to see what was going on and the debris from three houses had blown to the other side of the road on to the field.

"The police have parked their cars at the back of our house in the football club car park.

"We must have all the police force in Manchester at the back of our garden.

"I hope people are OK but all the forces are on top form. You could not ask for more."

Paul Steel

"I live in Irlam in Linnet Drive, which is round the corner from where it happened.

"I'm stuck in my house with my little boy, schools are closed and I can't get into work.

"I just woke up and heard loads of helicopters above, didn't think anything of it, and then my girlfriend rang me up to make sure we were OK."

Barbara Holgate

"It's a close-knit area so people have been going to relatives and friends.

"I've invited somebody in for coffee.

"They told most people to go inside. There's a big smell of gas."

Carolyn Patten

"There was a huge booming noise at around 7am this morning.

"The road is just adjacent to the M62, so I just thought it was a crash on the motorway.

"Then pretty quickly we heard all the sirens and realised that something was going on down the other end of the road."

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