Birmingham explosion: Woman found dead, man critically injured after blast destroys house

Birmingham explosion: Woman found dead, man critically injured after blast destroys house

A woman has been found dead after a house was destroyed in a gas explosion in Birmingham, West Midlands Fire Service said.

It comes after a man suffered life threatening injuries in the blast which completely destroyed the house on Dulwich Road, Kingstanding, at 8.38pm on Sunday.

Four other men suffered more minor injuries.

The fire service said on Monday: “We’re very sad to confirm that a woman has been found dead at the scene of last night’s explosion in #Kingstanding. Our thoughts and sympathies are with everyone affected.”

Chief Inspector Kelly Monaghan, of West Midlands Police, said the force was supporting the fire brigade's investigation and there were no suspicious circumstances "at this stage".

"There is one fatality, there's also one male critically ill in hospital at the moment, and I can confirm that that's the condition at the minute - it is critical."

She added officers were in the process of contacting relatives of the male and female, but were unable to release their identities at this stage.

Speaking as urban search and rescue specialists were preparing to sift the rubble, Ms Monaghan also praised the "heroic" actions of residents who rushed into the burning rubble and dragged the injured man out.

"I would just like to say a huge thank you - there was some really heroic actions from members of the community last night," she added.

Residents said they clambered past flaming debris, through dust and rubble, shortly after the blast, and pulled an injured man alive from the ruins of the house.

One man, who declined to give his name, said: “Everyone was watching, the house was on fire, nobody was going in, so we could see a way in – so we went in the house, me and about a dozen others.

“There was a guy in the back (of the house), we could hear the guy screaming, but he was trapped up against the fridge in the kitchen.

“The dust from the loft insulation was burning around us.

“We managed to get to him, and pull him out – I still have his blood on my jeans.

“We got him out, he ended up coming out on a mattress.

“But he was saying there was a woman in the house.”

Area commander Alex Shapland, of West Midlands Fire Service, giving an update on the investigation on Monday afternoon, said a multi-agency inquiry was now under way "to understand exactly how this has taken place".

He added: "We have searched the properties we can get into.

"We have liaised and spoken to all of the occupants of all the different properties.

"We're not expecting to find anybody else in there, but until we have fully searched the area we can't say with absolute certainty."

Footage on social media showed flames, damage and debris from a terraced red brick house.

Aerial shots shared on Twitter also showed flames billowing into the sky.

A spokesperson from Cadent Gas said its personnel were at the site.

“Our teams are on-site at the incident in Kingstanding, assisting the multi-agency response as the gas emergency service for the West Midlands” they said.

Birmingham Gas Explosion

“It is too early to speculate on the cause. Our thoughts are with everyone impacted.

“If ever anyone smells gas, nearby or anywhere, it is important to act immediately and ring the national gas emergency service on 0800 111 999.”

West Midlands Police tweeted: “Thank you for all you kind words. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this.

“Emergency workers from all services and the energy companies are working really hard in very difficult circumstances.

“Thanks to people who have helped shocked and injured neighbours.”