A man who helped rescue his neighbor from the rubble of their Swansea home after a suspected gas explosion described the scene as “chaos”.
South Wales Police yesterday declared a major incident after reports of an explosion at the junction of Field Close and Clydach Road in Morriston.
One man has been confirmed to have died and three people have been taken to hospital with injuries, and more than 100 residents have been evacuated.
Emergency services continued to clear the “largely damaged” properties.
About 10 houses away, Daniel and Stephanie Hopkins were at home when the explosion happened.
After initially thinking “a bomb had gone off,” Mr Hopkins rushed to the scene to help those at the affected properties.
“It was literally like a bomb went off. It was everywhere. On the ground you could see part of the roof,” he recalled.
‘Just strips of wood. You never expect something like this to happen anywhere near you. I ran outside to see if anyone else was in the house. I got down there.
“A guy was already helping the woman out of the house when I was there.
“She was screaming about her son. He was in the alley, he must have come down with the rubble.’
The blast was so powerful that people living up to a mile away recalled it “shaking the house” and rattling windows.
Crime scene images show several buildings completely razed, as well as windows and burned exteriors on at least two other nearby homes.
Stressing it was “a miracle” that they survived, Ms Hopkins said her first thought was to help those worst affected and offer her own house as a shelter.
But eventually they were all evacuated and only managed to steal an item or two from their homes.
Ms Hopkins recalled holding up her neighbor who was “completely traumatized and had chest pains and her head was bleeding”.
“We went to the little ones [their son’s] room and a light had fallen from the ceiling and there were cracks in the wall,” she added.
“My husband ran down the stairs and said a house had just collapsed on the street.
“Then he left and ran into the house to help and the boy had already been pulled out.
“But the woman didn’t know that yet and she cried out ‘my son, my son.’
We managed to get them out. I held her up. Then she saw her son.
“We made sure she was okay. The houses in the vicinity were evacuated first. There was a woman walking around with a baby who lived nearby, she was shaken and had just gotten a blanket and milk.
“We asked them to come to our home, but once we accommodated them, the rest of us were evacuated. We grabbed what we could. The main thing is that the woman and her son are safe.
“It was a miracle, her dog was also in the rubble but managed to escape and appeared fine.
“The chip shop gives out free food, it’s nice to see people pulling together.”
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https://metro.co.uk/2023/03/14/man-recalls-moment-he-pulled-woman-from-rubble-after-swansea-gas-blast-18437646/ The man remembers the moment he pulled a woman from the rubble after the Swansea gas explosion