A man has told how he pulled a young boy from burning rubble after a massive ‘gas’ explosion destroyed homes in Scotland.
Four people from the same family, aged between 11 and 47, were all taken to hospital in ‘serious condition’ after the blast in the Gorse Park area of Ayr, Ayrshire yesterday at around 7.10pm
Alex Craig rushed to the scene after hearing a ‘kaboom’ and pulled the young boy from underneath rubble that was ‘popping and crackling’ from the flames.
Mr Craig told ITV: ‘I had no other thoughts but just about getting folk out of there as quickly and as safely as possible.
‘I said to myself “there’s people that are going to be alive here” and then luckily enough there was that one wee boy that showed his face underneath the rubble and I just pulled him out right away.
‘I can’t explain it, I’m speechless to be honest. I’m just so happy that he was there.’
Alex Craig rushed to the scene after hearing a ‘kaboom’ and pulled a young boy from the burning rubble
Aerial view of the devastation cause by an explosion last night on Kincaidston Drive Ayr, Scotland, which forced locals to evacuate
Earlier today, police said two boys, aged 11 and 16, and two adults were being treated in different hospitals.
A woman aged 43 and a boy aged 16 are being treated in Glasgow Royal Infirmary, and a man aged 47 is being treated in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow. An 11-year-old boy is being treated in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children.
Mr Craig said he was ‘surprised’ anybody could have survived the explosion, adding: ‘Somebody must have been up there watching them, thank God.’
He also praised other local residents who rushed over to assist and helped with the rescue efforts.
Two adults and two children have been taken to hospital after last night’s explosion at a South Ayrshire housing estate
Aerial images today showed one house in the terrace of four has been destroyed by the blast while the roof of another appears to have caved in and debris is scattered around the area.
The cause of the explosion has yet to be determined, though local councillor Chris Cullen told BBC Good Morning Scotland that gas was to blame.
He said: ‘It is quite harrowing actually. Early yesterday evening there was a row of houses and now there is a hole.
‘Two-and-a-half houses are missing. It is quite shocking how far the debris has fallen and the damage it has caused. It has been a gas explosion, the exact details of how that happened aren’t released yet.’
Mr Cullen also said that it could be up to 10 days before people were allowed to return to their homes on the estate.
Emergency services were called to the scene in the Gorse Park area of Ayr, Ayrshire yesterday at around 7.10pm. Four people, including two children, were rushed to hospital.
Mr Craig said he had thoughts other than getting people out of the rubble as quickly and safely as possible
Emergency services at the scene last night after four people were taken to hospital following the large explosion
The explosion was reported in the Kincaidston area of Ayr, Scotland at 19:10 on Monday and was heard for miles around
Two rest centres have been set up to take care of residents in the housing estate and a number of neighbouring properties have been evacuated.
Chief Inspector Derrick Johnston, area commander for South Ayrshire, said: ‘Police received a report of an explosion at Gorse Park in the KIncaidston area of Ayr around 7.10pm last night.
‘Emergency services attended and a number of houses were evacuated.
‘A family of four were taken to hospital. A 43-year-old woman and a 16-year-old boy are currently within Glasgow Royal Infirmary. A 47-year-old male is currently within Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and an 11-year-old is within the Royal Hospital for Sick Children.
‘This is a complex incident and different agencies are working together to establish he full circumstances of what happened.
‘Our thoughts are with the family and everyone in the local community affected by this. A joint investigation with Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is being carried out.’
Debris smashed a taxi windscreen at Primrose Park, Ayr, as four people were taken to hospital following a large explosion at a house in Gorse Park
Inquiries are ongoing to establish the cause of the blast. SGN said it was ensuring the site around the ‘serious explosion’ was made safe
Social media users said they heard the explosion from miles away, while pictures shared online showed at least one house badly damaged with debris lying in the street.
Euan Bryson, who lives in the adjacent housing estate, tweeted a video showing a fire engine on a smoke-filled street in the aftermath of the explosion.
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Ambulance Service said: ‘We received a call at 7.16pm to attend an incident at Gorse Park, Ayr, alongside Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.
‘We dispatched a number of resources to the scene, including three specialist operations vehicles, six ambulances and an air ambulance.’
Gas distribution company SGN was helping emergency services.
A spokesman said: ‘Our engineers are currently assisting the emergency services to ensure the immediate vicinity is made safe in our role as the gas emergency service.’