Two taken to hospital after suspected gas explosion in Sunderland blows roof off house

House explosion on Whickham Street, Sunderland Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Two people have been taken to hospital with 'blast injuries' after a house explosion in Sunderland, with one in a critical condition.

Police say it is suspected a gas explosion tore the roof off the property in Roker on Tuesday afternoon.

Photos of severe damage at the property in Roker show its roof and part of its front missing, with bricks and debris in the street outside and the top floor exposed.

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “At 3.45pm today we received a report of a suspected gas explosion at an address on Whickham Street, Sunderland.

“Emergency services are at the scene.

“Two men have been taken to hospital with injuries that are not deemed to be life-threatening at this time.

“Officers remain in the area alongside Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service and anyone with concerns is asked to speak to them.”

The Roker property's contents were laid bare as the explosion ripped off the roof and part of the facade. Credit: PA

North East Air Ambulance Service said earlier: "We have taken one patient to Sunderland Hospital."We have taken a second patient to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.

"Both were treated for blast injuries."

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Peter Heath, of TWFRS, said crews would remain in the area into Tuesday evening, alongside colleagues at Northumbria Police this evening to ensure the site is safe. 

He said: “This has been a significant explosion and there has been substantial damage caused to the property in question. 

“Thankfully our crews were quickly on scene alongside our other blue light partners to assist two male casualties from the area and they have since been transferred to hospital. 

“We will remain in the area alongside our partners this evening to assess the site and ensure it is structurally safe. Some residents in the immediate vicinity have also been evacuated as a precaution. 

“We know this will be concerning for local residents and we would ask that anyone present in the area listens to the advice and instruction of the emergency services.”