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P
Pa
May 5, 2021

7 hurt as blast leaves gaping hole in row of houses in Kent

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P
Pa
May 5, 2021

KENT: Seven people have been injured after a huge explosion left a gaping hole in a row of houses in Kent. Several people were believed to have been trapped following the blast in Willesborough, Ashford, and had to be freed by emergency services.

Two people were taken to hospital in London with serious injuries, South East Coast Ambulance Service said, while five others were taken to William Harvey Hospital in Ashford with injuries thought to be less serious.

Officers worked to establish if anyone was missing while local residents were evacuated from the scene in Mill View. All residents were subsequently accounted for and the explosion is not being treated as suspicious at this stage, police said.

Much of a house was destroyed in the explosion, with the chimney remaining standing. Local resident and journalism student Chantal Weller described the “hectic” aftermath of the explosion with people panicking, but said things have since calmed down as the fire was brought under control.

She told the PA news agency she felt her house shake at 8am, “like something had literally flown into the side of it”. The 20-year-old added: “It didn’t make a lot of noise, but there was a big shudder. “I looked out the window and saw a lot of people looking down the road and looking worried.

“I walked out onto the street and could see lots of police cars whizzing past down Osborne Road to get to the house. There were people everywhere because of the school run.”

Firefighters from seven fire engines have been tackling the blaze and working to extinguish the last remaining signs of fire. Fire officer Paul Ramsden told reporters at the scene that the road would have to be dug up in order to properly isolate the gas and electricity. Members of the public have been urged to avoid the area and residents have been asked to keep their windows closed.