Published: Sun, July 21, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Gas explosion in New Zealand's Christchurch injures several people

Gas explosion in New Zealand's Christchurch injures several people

Police said in a statement initial reports suggested a number of people had been injured in the incident in the residential suburb of Northwood. Emergency services at the scene said it was lucky no one was killed.

Mr. McCracken said he helped to evacuate his elderly neighbor and her dog before running towards the house to check on the residents directly affected.

One of the first people on the scene, retired police officer Bradley Culver, said he thought a plane had crashed behind his house and that it was lucky no one was killed.

Evacuations were being carried out while police remained on the scene.

Injuries are said to range from moderate to critical following the gas explosion.

Witness Tom White told local media that concrete tiles from the roof of the house had been blown 100m in every direction.

He said emergency services were working as quickly as they could so evacuated residents could re-enter their properties.

"The Styx Mill Country Club is open to any residents that need somewhere to go, need information, or need support, because with power off, some of them will be limited to what information they can now get, so we're just advising them to come down to the Styx Mill Country Club and wait there for information".

Tradie James Looyer, who helped dig the injured out of the rubble, told Checkpoint he was with his workmates at the time of the explosion.

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Looyer said the people they rescued "couldn't talk, they were in that much shock".

'It's caused a lot of destruction to other houses, ' he said.

"It was more than an natural disaster, you'd think a bomb had gone off", the worker said. They couldn't really hear us because the explosion was so loud.

City councillor Aaron Keown is on the scene and he says the windows of the neighbour's house have completely blown out.

A further 17 properties were hit by debris.

"You start looking around and all bricks are off the house next door and the garage doors down the road are all blown off".

He said he ran with just jandals on to investigate what had happened.

"Interesting that other houses have suffered very significant damage whereas we're only two doors away and at this stage from what we can see from videos, [it's just] superficial damage for us".

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