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Explosion at block of flats
Sunday 30th November, 2008

Investigations are continuing into the cause of an explosion at a block of flats in Wigan.

At 9.20pm on Saturday 29 November 2008, police received reports of the explosion on Blake Close, Worsley Mesnes.

Officers attended along with the Fire Service and ambulance crews and found the top two flats in a block of three had concertinaed into the ground floor property and had been completely destroyed by the fire.

A large number of emergency services officers were present and the blaze was brought under control by 00.15am by firefighters.

Police officers helped evacuate residents from the neighbouring flats, which are all council-owned, and they are staying at a nearby hotel.

Eight people have been confirmed as being injured during the explosion.

One man suffered serious burns and has been taken to Whiston Hospital where he remains in a critical condition. Another man is being treated at Wythenshawe Hospital for burns and is described as serious but stable. The remaining casualties suffered minor injuries and smoke inhalation.

A full search of the block of flats, including the ground floor flat, was carried out by specialist search and rescue teams and it is not believed there was anyone else inside at the time of the fire.

However, police and firefighters will remain at the scene for the rest of today.

The cause of the explosion is still under investigation but at this stage, there are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances.

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