Man dies as North Yorkshire house is destroyed in devastating explosion

Aerial view of the house in York which exploded in a gas blast. Picture credit 	Jordan Clift / SWNS.com
Aerial view of the house in York which exploded in a gas blast. Picture credit Jordan Clift / SWNS.com

Police have confirmed that the body of a 63-year-old man has been found in the house which was obliterated in an explosion this morning.

The explosion in Haxby, near York, was reported at 7.30am this morning. It is believed to have been caused by gas, but this is yet to be confirmed at this stage.

63-year-old man killed in house explosion

63-year-old man killed in house explosion

A statement from North Yorkshire Police said there is "at least" one casualty as a result of a house explosion in York.

They could not give any further details about the fatality but said the deceased had lived at the house.

A relief centre for those affected has been set up at Haxby Memorial Hall.

Bus driver Tom Holland, 28, who lives near to the explosion, said: "I live under a mile away from where it happened.

"Somewhere between 7.25am and 7.30am I felt a shockwave. It was like an earthquake. The whole room shook for a second. I've seen on social media that it has been felt in other parts of York too.

"I went down to the scene to have a look at. The stench down there is unbelievable and there is loads of smoke.The house that exploded is completely gone. It is just pile of rubbish.

"It has shattered windows from a number of houses each side of it and I saw at least one car that had its windows blown out.

"There was around four or five ambulances outside and people were being treated for shock. I also saw three or four fire engines and a number of police cars."

Police also confirmed the explosion was believed to have been caused by gas, but further investigations would reveal more.

Rob Varley, 30, who lives on the next street to where the explosion happened said: "All that I knew was that there was a massive bang at around 7.30am.

"I had woken up just five minutes before it happened but I was still half asleep when it went off.

"It was like a mix of a bomb, a plane crash and a bus crashing into the house. Our house shook and it felt like a bus had driven into the house.

"I looked out the window and saw smoke coming from the houses.

"I ran outside to see if anyone was hurt and saw the house in pieces.

"There was so much devastation and it had started to set on fire again and so we backed away.

"Both sides next door have been hit very badly by it.

"There was an air of distress when it happened. You just don't know what happened.

"You just hope that no one was inside.

"Talking to people in the street they said the people that lived there weren't there during the week and there wasn't a car there so hopefully they were still away when it happened.