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House partially collapses after unexplained explosion

"We didn't hear an explosion, it was just a loud rumbling which must have been the bricks coming down." Credit: NCJ Media

Residents have spoken of their shock after following an explosion at a Sunderland home.

There were reports of a "bang" and "rumbling" on Ravensworth in Ryhope due to the incident, with emergency services rushing to the scene.

A house on the street partially collapsed as a result of an alleged explosion that was initially believed to have been caused by gas.

We didn't hear an explosion, it was just a loud rumbling which must have been the bricks coming down. I heard someone at my door and it was the delivery man saying next door's house had fallen down. There were five or six fire engines and a lot of police cars.

There was the ambulance, the whole lot. We can't thank the emergency services enough.

It was quite concerning because it is attached to our house."

– Elizabeth Heckless, 65, nextdoor neighbour

Emergency services rushed to the house on Saturday evening.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service confirmed they were at the scene until the area was made safe later in the evening.

A spokesperson for Northumbria Police said officers were called to reports of a collapsed private house. The area was cordoned off for a number of hours while an investigation took place.

Kirsty Hartnett, 27, also lives next to the property, was alerted to the explosion after her neighbour called her.

When I came back to the house the police and fire services were here. We were initially told there had been a gas explosion but after they carried out the fire service and gas company said it wasn't."

– Kirsty Hartnett, 27, neighbour

Another resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said:

I heard a bang but thought the Amazon delivery driver had crashed his van. It didn't sound like an explosion, more like a bang from a crash."

– Neighbour

A North East Ambulance Service spokeswoman confirmed that it sent two crews from its Hazardous Area Response Team (HART), as well as a clinical manager and an ambulance.

One patient was treated for minor injuries but not taken to hospital.

A spokeswoman for Northern Gas Networks said that emergency engineers were dispatched immediately after being alerted to a report of an explosion at 4.47pm on Saturday.

Having carried out extensive tests we found the local gas mains network to be sound and working as it should.

What happened was not linked to the gas mains network."

– A spokeswoman for Northern Gas Networks