'Little angel' killed in early morning blast

Two-year-old George Arthur Hinds was killed in a suspected gas explosion in Heysham - his parents Vicky and Stephen are "devastated".

Video Transcript


LISA DOWD: The families who lay sleeping in their homes would have had little warning of what was to come. In the early hours, an explosion ripped through three properties, destroying two and leaving one standing. But only just.

EMILIE DOWNIE: All I remember seeing, it was a massive flash, and then the-- everyone said it as well-- houses were like shaking. We all thought it was maybe an earthquake. Obviously, we live near the power station, so we thought it could have been a power station. Came downstairs straight away and when we came outside, the whole street was outside. There was shouting and screaming. No one really knew what was going on. It was possibly the loudest bang I've ever heard.

LISA DOWD: Fire crews picked through the vulnerable structure at Heysham in Lancashire to find survivors. A child couldn't be saved. The parents of two-year-old George Hinds released photographs of their son. They called him their beautiful, little angel. They said he was so precious to us. We have no words to describe how we feel. The suspected gas explosion also injured four other people. Its force blew out the windscreens of the cars parked outside and left the contents of a family's life exposed and scattered over a large area.

The fire crews are satisfied that there's no one else trapped inside. The next stage for them is to make the site safe and then sift through the debris to try to piece together exactly what happened. Volunteers offered support to the emergency services and the community.

NIGEL TANSLEY: I think everyone is just stunned. They went to bed last night, and there was a house or three houses out there. And now, it's just rubble. And quite a few folk who commented that it's like a shot from the second World War where just the chimneys stacks are standing. It's difficult to get your head around what has actually happened.


LISA DOWD: As locals work out how best to support a grieving family, many have been donating clothing, essentials, and money to help all those affected. Lisa Dowd, Sky News, Lancashire.