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Child dies as blast flattens house
Damaged housed at the scene of a suspected gas explosion in the Shaw area of Oldham (Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service/PA)
A child has been killed and a man was left gravely ill after a massive explosion ripped through three houses.
The child, named locally as Jamie Heaton, died in the blast in Shaw, Oldham, and the man, named by neighbours as Anthony Partington, was airlifted to hospital suffering severe burns.
Dean Nankivell, station manager at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, said although the operation at the scene was still being treated as a search and rescue mission, everyone had been accounted for and no one had been found trapped in the rubble as first thought.
Mr Nankivell said there was one known death and the injured man rescued by firemen suffered serious burns.
Special equipment and sniffer dogs had scoured the rubble to ensure no one else was trapped.
He said: "The scene down there is catastrophic. It's just a great big pile of bricks.
"Whatever has caused this has gone with some force. Gas is definitely a strong contender. This is looking like a gas explosion.
"Everybody has been accounted for, we are treating it as a search and rescue but leading on to the next phase."