Gas main not the cause of Wythenshawe blast that killed 91-year-old Frank Burton

Frank Burton died in the explosion at his home in Wythenshawe

A Manchester house explosion that killed a 91-year-old man was not caused by a gas main.

Frank Burton died in the blast in Wythenshawe on Thursday evening (31 March).

Parts of the house in Brownley Road were destroyed and nearby homes were temporarily evacuated.

The house was badly damaged in the explosion

Mark Berry, head of customer operations, said: “As the gas emergency service, we have supported the emergency response to what has happened in Wythenshawe.

"The thoughts of everyone at Cadent are with those affected by this.

“Following a thorough investigation, we can confirm that the gas mains and service pipes in the area are sound and did not contribute to or cause the incident in Brownley Road.

"The matter now lies with other agencies for further investigation.

“We would also like to remind people that if you ever smell gas, inside the home or outside, call the national gas emergency service on 0800 111 999* immediately, day or night.

"Our team is available 24/7, 365 days-a-year to respond to emergencies quickly.”

Following the incident, Greater Manchester Police said they had not found anything to suggest criminality.

Residents describe the scene in the aftermath of the blast

Residents reported hearing a 'huge explosion' coming from a property on the street that 'shook their houses like an earthquake', with images showing a huge hole in the front of the house.

Matt Muncaster, 27, who lives close to where the explosion took place, tried to help with fellow neighbours before firefighters arrived.

"The scene was awful, (there were) massive amounts of smoke almost instantly," he said.

"Me and a neighbour tried to kick the door down to try and get in to see if the resident was home but we couldn't get in. However the fire service managed to get into the house about five minutes after."

Paying tribute to his brother, Philip, 71, said: "He was good character and a good guy."

Frank was a widow, having lost his wife Brenda a decade ago, his sibling said.

He added: "Frank was in the motor industry, he used to do body work and was highly skilled and respected. He was a dad-of-two.

"This is a chap who when he was working once went ballooning over the Grand Canyon. He was an occasional visitor to Las Vegas.

"I haven't been able to reach Frank for some time, he was deaf. He was deaf because he got blown out of bed during the War during The Blitz in Manchester."