Cheltenham 'explosion': Building collapses and woman seriously injured

  • Watch Verity Wishart's report

A woman has been seriously injured in an 'explosion' that has led to a building collapse in Cheltenham.

Videos show flames and smoke in the area and people can be heard asking if anyone is in the property.

Police were called to a home in the Springbank area of the town at around 9.40pm on Thursday 1 February.

Firefighters, police, and ambulance crews have been at the scene of the fire, which is believed to have involved a bungalow.

Five nearby homes were evacuated and a cordon is in place.

A spokesperson from Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service said: "There is an ongoing multi-agency investigation and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

"A woman is in Southmead Hospital in Bristol after sustaining serious injuries which at this time are not believed to be life-threatening."

Nearby residents described the events as they unfolded: "All I heard was a big explosion it kind of shook most of the houses round here, then we went out and the lady was coming out of the house with burnt hair it was pretty terrible."

Much of the building has been reduced to rubble. Credit: Lukas Kepinski

Another local said, "an ambulance and a few police cars came booming down the road, so I get up and look out my window and there's a fire engine, and I look over to the right and I see a thick plume of smoke in the air."

Some played a vital role in the response before the casualty was taken to Southmead Hospital in Bristol.

"She was quite badly burnt and so we were initially bringing water out to her because that's what the paramedics where saying over the phone but then at one point they were like can you get her to a shower.

Nearby residents attended to the casualty before paramedics arrived.

"We had the closest shower so we said yeah you can bring her upstairs, so initially the policeman brought her upstairs and they used our shower and eventually the paramedics could get up there and it became a mini hospital."

Deputy Chief Fire Officer at Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service, Nathaniel Hooton told ITV News West Country: "We've responded last night and into the early hours of this morning and now it's about looking how we learn, what the investigation might show us and might tell us but also providing the local community that level of assurance.

"As you can see there's a lot of work still ongoing to make sure the area is safe for everyone, but we're here for you and please contact us if you have any doubts."

The recovery operation continues.