has left a smoking pile of rubble where the terraced house used to stand, in Oldham, near Manchester, 260 kms northwest of London.
According to the National Grid utilities company, five houses were damaged, three of which were completely destroyed, and 100 houses were evacuated after the blast. They state that residents had complained of a smell of gas before the explosion. Police say they were investigating a possible gas leak.
More than 30 firefighters were at the scene after the blast. One person is still believed to be trapped in the rubble and another person is currently unaccounted for. Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service has said that firefighters will stay at the scene until they are sure there is no one else to be found.
The injured man has been taken to Wythenshawe Hospital with serious burns.
The station manager
, Dean Nankivell 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."
"If there is anybody in there, we will be there until we find them," he added.
The Urban Search and Rescue Team
are using three sniffer dogs to help in the operation.
A resident of the street, Georgian Ulla told the BBC
her house "shook like it was an earthquake."
"All the lights shook - I thought someone was breaking in to begin with," she added. "First thing that I saw was all the toys on the floor. Apparently there are kids that live in the house."