A Newcastle man is in a stable condition in hospital after the roof was blown off his bungalow in a suspected gas explosion.
The 65-year-old, named locally as retired bus driver Don Robertson, suffered multiple injuries when his home in Huntcliffe Gardens, Heaton, exploded and he was trapped by fallen masonry, a North East Ambulance Service spokesman said.
He was rushed to the Royal Victoria Infirmary trauma centre, where he is being treated for burns and a badly broken ankle.
A neighbour, a 90-year-old woman, was treated at the scene suffering chest pains and shock.
The explosion is not being treated as suspicious by police, who said neighbours reported a strong smell of gas following the blast around midday on Saturday July 21.
Structural engineers and the gas board have inspected the damaged property and helped make it safe.
Neighbours who were evacuated from the properties have returned to their homes.
Following the blast, the blast victim's neighbour, Ralph Parr, told Sky Tyne and Wear: "About half an hour before the explosion he told me he could smell gas."
Mr Robertson's wife Maureen was out playing bingo on the Shields Road in Byker at the time of the explosion.
Four fire crews, police, the ambulance service and the air ambulance were called to the address by passers-by who reported hearing a bang and seeing the building collapse, a Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said.
A NEAS spokesman said: "It was called in as a gas explosion and that is almost certainly what has happened.
"Luckily one of our crews was on the Coast Road and so got there within five minutes.
"Our Hazardous Area Response Team and another ambulance arrived soon after and helped the man, who was trapped, from the property once the fire crews had made the scene safe.
"Two people lived in the building but just the man was in.
"The neighbour was quite shaken up but was treated at the scene and was not taken to hospital."
A spokesman for the Great North Air Ambulance said: "The GNAA reported to the scene and treated a male patient who had been trapped under rubble.
"He had sustained a fracture to his leg. Due to the nature of his injuries and to being to close to a hospital he was transported to the Royal Victoria Infirmary by road ambulance."
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