A woman has been found dead after a house was destroyed in a gas explosion in Birmingham, West Midlands Fire Service said.
Birmingham, United Kingdom (JC) | Police earlier confirmed a man was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
West Midlands Police said they were called just after 8.30pm on Sunday to the incident on Dulwich Road in Kingstanding.
One house has been destroyed and several others have been significantly damaged as well as nearby cars, the force said.
West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) said people at the scene rescued a man from the destroyed house but he had “very significant injuries” and was taken to hospital.
Residents described to the PA news agency how they clambered past flaming debris, through dust and rubble, shortly after the blast, and pulled an injured man alive from the ruins of the house.
One man, who declined to give his name, said: “Everyone was watching, the house was on fire, nobody was going in, so we could see a way in – so we went in the house, me and about a dozen others.
“There was a guy in the back (of the house), we could hear the guy screaming, but he was trapped up against the fridge in the kitchen.
“The dust from the loft insulation was burning around us.
“We managed to get to him, and pull him out – I still have his blood on my jeans.
“We got him out, he ended up coming out on a mattress.
“But he was saying there was a woman in the house.”
Four other men suffered minor injuries and were assessed by ambulance crews at the scene, WMAS added.
A spokesperson said: “A man was helped from the property by people at the scene but had suffered very serious injuries.
“After assessment and treatment at the scene, he was taken on blue lights to the major trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham with the MERIT team travelling with the ambulance.
“His condition on arrival at hospital was described as life threatening.
“Four further men have been assessed by ambulance crews for minor conditions but have been discharged at the scene.
“Members of the Hazardous Area Response Team continue to work with specialist firefighters at the scene.”
A spokesperson from Cadent Gas said its personnel were at the site.
“Our teams are on-site at the incident in Kingstanding, assisting the multi-agency response as the gas emergency service for the West Midlands” they said.
“It is too early to speculate on the cause. Our thoughts are with everyone impacted.
“If ever anyone smells gas, nearby or anywhere, it is important to act immediately and ring the national gas emergency service on 0800 111 999.”