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Gas explosion was "like a bomb going off"

A gas explosion has devastated a house in Kingstanding, Birmingham.

The blast blew out downstairs windows and doors at a house in Copthorne Road, Kingstanding at 8.15pm on Saturday.

A neighbour said it sounded “like a bomb going off”.

One man was taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Fire crews from Perry Barr and Erdington were sent to the scene and a structural engineer was called to assess the safety of the property.

The house damaged by the explosion in Kingstanding Credit: BPM Media
Fire crews attended the scene in Copthorne Road Credit: BPM Media

It was like a bomb going off. There was a massive boom and the house shook.

Police were there all night and this morning there was still a police car outside.

– A neighbour at the scene
The explosion blew off downstairs doors and windows Credit: BPM Media

Man dies in Smethwick crash with three others injured

A man has died and three others were injured - two seriously - after a car crash in Smethwick.

The car containing the four passengers crashed outside St Marks Community Project in Thimblemill Road shortly after 10.45pm last night (Saturday).

When ambulance staff arrived they found four occupants who had been involved in the RTC (Road Traffic Collision; three of which required immediate medical help.

One man was out of the car, in a critical condition and deteriorating quickly.

Sadly, the man went into cardiac arrest and despite the best efforts of doctors and paramedics, nothing could be done to save him and was confirmed dead on scene.

– West Midlands Ambulance Service spokeswoman

A second man, in his 30s, was trapped inside the wreckage and a third was trapped beneath the vehicle.

They are being treated at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

A fourth man with minor injuries was taken to Sandwell Hospital.


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British woman found dead after Mexico hurricane

A British woman who went missing while travelling on a yacht off the coast of Mexico has been found dead.

The Foreign Office confirmed that a body, believed to be that of Simone Wood, was discovered following a search operation launched in the wake of Hurricane Odile.

Ms Wood's partner Paul Whitehouse is still missing, Associated Press reported.

"We can confirm the death of a British national, reported missing along with another British national earlier this week off the coast of Mexico," a Foreign Office spokeswoman said.

Joshua Ribera: knife crime awareness event in Birmingham following recent murders

Joshua Ribera was fatally stabbed outside a nightclub in Selly Oak in Birmingham in September 2013 Credit: ITV News Central

Two teenagers who were stabbed to death in Birmingham on the same day a year apart will be remembered at a knife crime awareness event in the city.

Peace Day, hosted by Activating Creative Talent (ACT), will commemorate the lives of grime artist Joshua Ribera, 18, and Kyle Sheehan, 16.

Ribera, also known as Depzman, was stabbed to death in September last year at a memorial party for Sheehan.

More than 2,500 people are expected at the event which will take place at The Rep.

Throughout the day there will be a mixture of stalls that include children's entertainment, live music and information on bringing peace to the community.

The evening will see performances from Lady Leshurr, Nimawa Jazz, Invasion, Daps on the Map, Malik (MD7) and local dance groups.

Kyle Sheehan was stabbed in the leg in Bartley Green Credit: West Midlands Police

I think the Peace Day is a fantastic idea and will raise awareness of the effects of knife crime in the area.

It is so important that we get the anti-violence message to young people of the city and encourage communities to work together in order to stamp out knife crime.

– Alison Cope, Depzman's mother

Wolverhampton man missing after hurricane in Mexico

A man from Wolverhampton and his girlfriend are missing at sea, after a hurricane hit the coast of Mexico.

Paul Whitehouse, a scuba diving instructor, had been living on a yacht out there for two years.

Tonight a friend of Paul's says they are desperate for news.

Charlotte Grant reports.


Helicopters searching for Wolverhampton man after Mexico hurricane

Paul Whitehouse and his partner are missing in Mexico Credit: Facebook

Helicopters are being used to search for a man from Wolverhampton and his partner who have gone missing following a hurricane in Mexico.

Paul Whitehouse and Simone Wood went missing when their yacht overturned in La Paz in Baja California.

Paul Whitehouse and Simone Wood Credit: Diverse Scuba

The pair are thought to have been living on their yacht in La Paz for around a year.

Paul Whitehouse and his partner Simone Wood Credit: Diverse Scuba

Hurricane Odile left a trail of destruction when it hit the Baja California Peninsula last Sunday.

We are in touch with the local authorities and are providing consular assistance to the families at this difficult time.

– Foreign Office spokeswoman
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Missing British couple in Mexico named

The British couple missing in Mexico have been named as Paul Whitehouse and Simone Wood.

Simone Wood and Paul Whitehouse are missing after a hurricane in Mexico. Credit: Diverse Scuba

The BBC reports friends of the couple saying they were on a yacht which capsized off the coastal town of La Paz on the Baja peninsula.

Mr Whitehouse, from Wolverhampton, is reported to have been working as a scuba diving instructor in the resort for about a year.

The Foreign Office has said it is providing consular assistance to the families "at this difficult time".

Wedgwood Museum appeal raises more than £2m

The public appeal has launched more than £2m Credit: Wedgwood Museum

A public appeal launched to save the Wedgwood Museum pottery collection has raised more than £2m.

The collection is currently being sold to pay the Stoke-on-Trent firm's pension bill.

The museum went into administration in 2010 after the firm collapsed and its £134m pension debts were transferred to the museum trust.

The Art Fund launched the £2.74m public appeal at the start of September. It is part of a full £15.75m fundraising campaign which has already raised more than £13m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Art Fund and other private support.

It leaves the appeal with just under £750,000 of the full £15.75m target still to raise.

With just under £750,000 to go, we continue to talk to several further potential funders.

The remarkable affection and concern for the Wedgwood Collection has never been so profoundly visible as through the convergence of so many individuals, trusts and foundations.

Every single donor in the community of givers should be immensely proud of the scale of what has been achieved to date.

– Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund

The Art Fund has until 30 November to save the Wedgwood Collection.

Neil Dalton was 'better than words can describe'

Friends of murdered Derbyshire student Neil Dalton said he was 'better than words can describe' and deserves to be remembered like that.

Belper Amateurs cricket club who Neil used to play for, took part in a charity cricket tournament today, in his memory.

Neil, a medical student at Newcastle University, was stabbed to death in Borneo, Malaysia last month alongside fellow student, Aidan Brunger.

The money raised will be donated to the Anthony Nolan Trust.

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