Firefighters respond to suspected gas explosion that injures two in Sunderland

Firefighters remain at the scene of a suspected gas explosion in Sunderland which has led to two men being transported to hospital.

At 3.46pm Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) received a call reporting an explosion at a residential property on Whickham Street in Roker.

The first crew was on the scene in a matter of minutes where emergency services found two men had suffered injuries.

They were both attended to by the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) and it has since been confirmed that the men had suffered blast injuries. Nobody else has been reported to be injured at this time.

In total four appliances, an Aerial Ladder Platform (ALP) vehicle and the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team were dispatched to the scene by TWFRS and a cordon was established in the area.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Peter Heath, of TWFRS, said crews will remain in the area this evening alongside colleagues at Northumbria Police this evening to ensure the site is safe.

He said: “This has been a significant explosion and there has been substantial damage caused to the property in question.

“Thankfully our crews were quickly on scene alongside our other blue light partners to assist two male casualties from the area and they have since been transferred to hospital.

“We will remain in the area alongside our partners this evening to assess the site and ensure it is structurally safe. Some residents in the immediate vicinity have also been evacuated as a precaution.

“We know this will be concerning for local residents and we would ask that anyone present in the area listens to the advice and instruction of the emergency services.”

A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “At 3.45pm today we received a report of a suspected gas explosion at an address on Whickham Street, Sunderland.

“Emergency services are at the scene. Two men have been taken to hospital with injuries that are not deemed to be life-threatening at this time.

“Officers remain in the area alongside Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service and anyone with concerns is asked to speak to them.”

Specialist fire service staff from TWFRS will remain at the scene to assess the site ahead of an investigation into the cause of the explosion.