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Last Updated: Monday, 15 November, 2004, 08:47 GMT
Woman, 93, hurt in gas explosion
The house damaged in the explosion
The cause of the explosion is being investigated
A 93-year-old was making a cup of tea when a suspected gas explosion ripped through her Tyneside home.

Neighbours struggled through wreckage to free Dorothy Bland from the house in Heaton, Newcastle, on Sunday evening.

The front of the house in Sackville Road, as well as five other properties and several cars, was damaged in the explosion.

Officials from gas supply firm Transco and the Health and Safety Executive are investigating the incident.

Neighbour Robert Crawford said he was awoken by the explosion at about 2330 GMT on Sunday.

Supplies disconnected

He said: "I climbed through the bay window and saw the lady still in her clothes.

"She said she had been trying to make a cup of tea when there was an explosion.

"We got her into our house while the emergency services and the ambulance took her to hospital."

A spokesman for the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said the explosion was believed to have been caused by a gas leak.

A Transco spokesman said initial checks on mains pipes showed them to be sound, but that supplies to other properties in the area had been temporarily disconnected pending their investigation.

Ms Bland is being treated for head injuries and burns at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary.





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